brain development

Learning an instrument improves motor and auditory skills

Playing pianoAnother study has shown that learning an instrument (in this case, for just 15 months) affects young people’s motor and auditory skills.

Researchers from institutions in Canada (Montreal and Toronto) and the USA (Boston) recruited students with no previous training and assigned them to one of two groups. The first group – instrumental music – received weekly half-hour private keyboard classes for about 15 months. The second group – the control group – did not receive instrumental music training, but participated in music classes in school for 40 minutes a week.

Investigators assessed students using a series of motor and auditory tests and brain imaging. The results demonstrated that after 15 months of instrumental music training, students showed brain changes in areas associated with motor and auditory skills.

The researchers were from the following institutions: McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal; Mouse Imaging Centre, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto; Department of Psychology, Boston College, Massachusetts; Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

SOURCES:

The Journal of Neuroscience: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/10/3019.full.pdf
ArtsEdSearch: http://www.artsedsearch.org/summaries/musical-training-shapes-structural-brain-development

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
TARGET GROUP: CHILDREN
AGE: 6-YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: KEYBOARD & GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 31
PERIOD OF STUDY: 15 MONTHS
DATE: 2009
PLACE: CANADA & USA