Musical training has positive effect on brain
Don’t write off those years your mom made you take piano lessons--a recent study by the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University suggests that even limited exposure to music may help guard us from some types of age-related declines in brain functioning. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, found that four to 14 years of musical training early in life is associated with faster neural timing in response to speech.
To conduct the study, test subjects listened to a synthesized speech sound (the syllable “da”) by itself, without any competing noise, and also amid other background noises. The researchers s found that the group of test subjects who have had some musical training responded neurally to the syllable both in quiet and with noise more quickly than the groups of test subjects without musical training.
This research is especially relevant to older people, who often have difficulty processing fast-changing speech elements.