Piano Lessons Makes Smarter Kids
And it is not just piano lessons. Any serious engagement with musical instruction increases the power of the brain.
A team of researches at Northwestern Universtiy released a study in December showing what our Articist Director, Wanda Cook, calls "meaningful outcomes" from musical instruction.
"Even in a group of highly motivated students, small variations in music engagement -- attendance and class participation -- predicted the strength of neural processing after music training," said lead author Nina Kraus, professor of communication sciences and of neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern University.
"Our results support the importance of active experience and meaningful engagement with sound to stimulate changes in the brain," she added.
What is happening here?
Music lessons stimulate neural networks in the brain. This improves the ability to process speech which also improves reading skills.
"What we do and how we engage with sound has an effect on our nervous system," Krause said.
"Spending time learning to play a musical instrument can have a profound effect on how your nervous system works."
We see meaingful outcomes in our YACM kids all the time. Parents who have enrolled their chidren in the Conservatory and who have supported their daily practice know first hand what the neurobiology researchers are talking about. Piano lessons -- any kind of musical instruction -- makes smarter kids.