Playing a musical instrument could help with anxiety, behaviour, and attention

Learning a musical instrument

Photographer: Malcolm Pollock

The longest study of its kind has shown that musical training could help children to reduce feelings of anxiety, gain a greater control of their emotions and give a stronger focus to their attention. The study was led by Dr. James Hudziak, professor of Psychiatry at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and the participants were part of the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Normal Brain Development. The results of the study were published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.  The authors of the study analysed the brain scans of 232 children aged 6-18, and found that playing music altered the behaviour-regulating and motor areas of the brain.


Washington Post:

Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: and

Medical News Today:

Daily Telegraph:

Classic FM:

The Strad:


BENEFIT: Behaviour regulation – reduced anxiety
TARGET GROUP: Young people
AGE: 6-18 years
MUSIC TYPE: Learning a musical instrument
TYPE OF STUDY: Academic research
DATE: 2014
PLACE: United States

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