A study was released recently, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, that showed promising long-term benefits for young adults who participated in musical lessons in childhood.
The research study recorded the auditory brainstem responses of college students in response to complex sounds, and the results showed that the study group that had been exposed to musical training during their childhood had a more robust brain response. The research showed that these individuals were more easily able to pick out elements of the music, including pitch, even if their last lesson had been a number of years prior to the research.
Recent studies have shown a number of other benefits for musical training in childhood as well, particularly based on the effects of discipline and active engagement. Musical training has also been shown to help the brain decipher between various elements of sound and music, including timbre and timing.
“To learn to read, you need to have good working memory, the ability to disambiguate speech sounds, make sound-to-meaning connections,” said Professor Nina Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University. “Each one of these things really seems to be strengthened with active engagement in playing a musical instrument.”
PianoSheetMusicPro.com, an online resource for piano sheet music, says the results of the study are not surprising.
“We’ve seen the benefits of music in childhood in research studies for a number of years,” said a PianoSheetMusicPro.com representative. “It’s been shown in everything from improved test scores stemming from listening to classical music to improved attention and focus. Music in childhood is something that is really important, and we feel necessary for development of children into intelligent, well-rounded adults.”
Studies on children who continue their musical training for more than a few years show that older musicians actually have better-preserved brain functions when it comes to central auditory processing skills, which is the way the brain interprets sounds against a noisy background.
“We often refer to the ‘cocktail party’ problem — or imagine going to a restaurant where a lot of people are talking,” said Dr. Claude Alain, assistant director of the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto and one of the authors of the study. “The older adults who are musically trained perform better on speech in noise tests — it involves the brain rather than the peripheral hearing system.”
“There has been some research on the continuation of musical lessons into young adulthood, and there continues to be more conducted,” said the PianoSheetMusicPro.com representative. “We think it’s important to keep young people interested and engaged when it comes to musical lessons, which is one of the reasons we provide resources for more modern, contemporary piano sheet music. We do have all the great classics, but we also provide resources for sheet music that covers a variety of pop music sheets, because we feel this is a great way to keep young people interested in continuing their study of music, past their early childhood years.”
PianoSheetMusicPro.com provides free information and resources about piano sheet music. The site aims to be the largest resource on the internet for free piano sheets, music sheets, piano notes and everything else a music enthusiast needs. Users can download or just visualize free piano sheets music for the latest, hottest, and trendiest songs combined with the classical masterpieces.
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