Whether it is a guitar or piano, many children learn an instrument early on. It is good because music is not only good for the soul, it also has a positive effect on brain development. Children can listen better, are more attentive and less hyperactive. Musical training could even help with ADHD and dyslexia. The positive effects of early carry on last until old age. Let’s find out why learning music early is good for children’s brains?
Music plays an important role in almost all cultures of humanity. The harmonious sounds influence our mood and feelings, the music can wake us up or help us relax, and even in the womb, we react to music. Singing and listening to music also has a positive effect on health as it strengthens the heart and blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
New Nerve Connections in the Brain
Music also has a positive effect on our brains. Studies show that the first changes appear after a short period of practice. Playing the violin, for example, creates new nerve connections that gradually form a fine network in the brain. This makes learning easier and can strengthen memory.
However, the effects are even stronger when we learn an instrument as a child. Studies show that learning music early strengthens brain areas that coordinate our movements and control concentration. Areas that are responsible for learning and memory or that process emotions and motivation also benefit from early music training. The repeated practice also promotes self-discipline, strengthens self-confidence, and can even improve language processing and attention.
Music against ADHD and dyslexia?
Only recently have researchers discovered another positive effect of early music training. In children with musical skills, the right and left hemispheres of the brain work particularly synchronously when listening. In general, the areas for hearing have been developed further. In the case of untrained children, on the other hand, the hearing centers on both sides get slightly out of rhythm, this is particularly the case in children who suffer from dyslexia or ADHD. As a result, they have problems with listening, speech processing, and attention.
Music education counteracts these deficits. The results show that children who learn an instrument can listen better, are more attentive, and have fewer problems controlling hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Also, they perform better in reading and spelling tests than musically inexperienced peers. It would, therefore, be beneficial to offer music education for children with ADHD and poor reading and spelling skills.
Helps even in old age
It also seems clear that the positive effects of learning music last a long time. Early practice even benefits us as seniors. Because the brains of older people normally recognize and process faster sound sequences more slowly than that of younger people. Therefore, it is difficult for some seniors to follow a fast flow of speech and to grasp the content.
But if you learned to play an instrument as a child, your brain will recognize speech better in old age. Musically experienced seniors recognize and process speech sounds two to three times faster. Another showed that this positive effect persists even if the instrument has not been touched since adolescence. A few years of music lessons in childhood are sufficient to permanently improve language processing.