Ivanhoe: Learning Music Makes Kids Smarter

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Five years ago, psychologists at the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California studied how learning music might affect brain development in young children. They used MRIs to look at potential brain changes after participation in music and other activities.

USC Professor of Psychology Assal Habibi is conducting a study on how music training affects kids’ brains.

“We saw that children who have had music training had stronger brain activation in the frontal region of the brain. These are the areas that are responsible for decision-making,” detailed Habibi.

Researchers tracked 25 six year olds, using MRIs to measure things like brain maturation, social skills and learning abilities. They compared their results with control groups of kids in sports programs and kids with no organized training.

The music-trained group had a stronger connection between the right and left sides of the brain. Their cognitive skills, including executive function abilities and auditory skills were better.

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