"Exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception."
That's the finding of researchers at the University of Southern California's Brain and Creativity Institute. Their two-year study followed 37 six and seven-year-old children from an underprivileged Los Angeles neighborhood.
Roughly one-third of the children participated in the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles program, practicing music for an average of one hour per day.
One-third of the kids played in a soccer league, and another third didn't take part in any training at all.
After analyzing the electrical activity in the brains of all the children and conducting additional tests, researchers concluded that the auditory systems of the young music students had accelerated faster than those who did not play music.
According to the study's authors, music stimulates the auditory system, which also helps with sound processing in a general sense. That stimulation encourages the development of reading skills, language development and successful communication.
(Inspired by an article at Music Education Works.)