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Music lessons help kids learn languages

Advocating the introduction of music classes into school curriculum, a new research has claimed that learning to play musical instruments has positive effects on the brain and it helps children improve their learning and understanding of language.

world Updated: Jul 21, 2010 23:50 IST

Advocating the introduction of music classes into school curriculum, a new research has claimed that learning to play musical instruments has positive effects on the brain and it helps children improve their learning and understanding of language.

The research, which is a review of several studies on the benefits of music, suggested that connections between brain cells are established during musical training that can aid in other forms of communication, such as speech, reading and understanding a foreign language.

“The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness,” said the researchers, at the Northwestern University (NU) in Illinois.

The studies showed that society should “re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development” and schools should consider boosting efforts to incorporate musical training into the curriculum.

The review by NU researchers Nina Kraus and Bharath Chandrasekaran pointed out that a musician’s ear must be particularly attuned to musical sounds, timing and quality.

Studies have shown such training leads to changes in the brain’s auditory system.

Musicians also have larger brain volumes in areas important for playing a musical instrument, including motor and auditory regions, they said.