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Friday, November 18, 2005

Playing Music Is Good For The Brain

Research done by Stanford University has shown that musical training can help the brain to process the spoken word increasing children's reading ability. The study proved that musical training helps to distinguish rapidly changing sounds which is key to language development. The study solidifies the notion that musical training can help increase cognitive abilities.

"What this study shows, that's novel, is that there's a specific aspect of language ... that's changed in the minds and brains of people with musical training," said researcher John Gabrieli, a former Stanford psychology professor now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. "Especially for children ... who aren't good at rapid auditory processing and are high-risk for becoming poor readers, they may especially benefit from musical training."

Of course, there is still much research to be done, but the results so far do indeed look promising. The reasearch also showed that musicians were better at recognizing pitch differences and had a better verbal memory than non-musicians did.

Researchers now plan to study children with language and reading defeciencies to see if a summer of musical training will increase their abilities.

[From The San Francisco Chronicle]

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