5 years study at the USC sees tremendous differences between students who learned an instrument and those who didn't
A Growth In Brain Development
Throughout 2 years of monitoring, neuroscientists were able to track through scans on electrical activity in the brains. Combining this with behavioral testing and other techniques leads to astonishing discoveries.
The part that's in charge of auditory sensory and nature in their brain was discovered to be growing much faster than compared to their peers. This development of their auditory pathway could accelerate the development of language and reading as well as other abilities.
This makes sense due to the auditory nature of the ear-to-brain connection that we have. Ears receive vibrations which turn them into sounds which then send them into the brain to process these sounds. This area of the brain is stimulated due to sound processing which leads to further development.
The Study In Detail
They observed what was the potential called "P1" which tracked the number of neurons firing as well as the speed that it is transmitted within these auditory pathways in the brain.
The children were tasked with a tonal and rhythm discrimination task in which they were asked to identify similar and different melodies. By using two groups of children, one that played an instrument in the orchestra and one that did not scientists were able to record the difference in abilities to complete this task.
It was seen that children who were in the youth orchestra programs were more accurate at detecting pitch changes in the melodies than the other groups.
What does this mean for you? If you have a child, why aren't they enrolled in a music class right now?