Early music training can improve language skills

In a recent weblog entry I described studies that failed to demonstrate significant cognitive effects of musical training on cognitive development (except in children receiving intense musical training). There are important caveats to these findings: The number of children included in these studies is small; as a result, it is possible that small improvements in…

Does music training improve cognitive skills?

Most people intuit that musical activities have benefits that extend beyond the immediate joys of music. There have been many reports of associations between musical training in childhood and later nonmusical cognitive outcomes. We discussed some of these reports on this weblog. Some of the more comprehensive studies on this issue are from the group…

Benefits of early music education

A new study in the Journal of Neuroscience examines the long-term benefits of music lessons early in life. The researchers, from Northwestern University, studied age-related declines in hearing that cause older adults to experience difficulty understanding speech, especially in challenging listening environments. The found that even moderate music training—as little as 4 years—early in life…