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In a new online edition of the Journal brain, researchers reveal how young children who take music lessons understand music in a different way than the children who didn’t take classes and how they score better on intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, mathematics and IQ.

Canadian researchers decide to measure the brain responses to sounds in children aged between four and six over a period of a year. The children were divided into two groups-those who were taking additional music classes and those who haven’t received any musical training besides the regular ones at schools. The developmental changes were noticed in less than four months.

The main goal of the study was to investigate how musical training affected normal brain development in young children and to see if auditory responses to meaningful sounds in children matured differently than responses to noises.

The children who started taking music classes were all trained by the Suzuki method because in this method all the children were trained in the same way and their initial musical talent was not taken into account. Since those children had no previous training, the Suzuki method enabled researchers to view how training in auditory, sensory and motor activities induced changes in the cortex of the brain.

Over the period of a year, the researchers managed to notice how long it took children to learn to differentiate different sounds and how they had larger responses to the violin tones than to the noise which indicates how more cortical work is being done to process the meaningful sounds. The tests showed that with children’s maturity electrical conduction between the neurons in the brains worked faster.

Improved memory capacity was also seen in children taking the classes as well as the skills non-related to music training like literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ.

The finding shows how important music is for the children's cognitive development and that it should be introduced to the pre-school and primary school curriculum.

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kool, all my kids are goin to do music... :-S
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