Learning Musical Instrument Might Boost a Child’s IQ

If you’ve decided not to buy your child that musical instrument because of all the noise it will cause, you might want to reconsider.

According to new research, a child might actually increase his intelligence level by learning a musical instrument.

The study was led by Dr. Frances Rausher, a psychologist with the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, along with University of California’s Dr. Gordon Shaw.  The results were just recently printed in Neurological Research magazine.

In the doctors’ study, a group of preschoolers were given weekly piano lessons while a second group received computer trainer.  A third control group received no special instruction.  Those learning the piano scored 34% more than both other groups on tests, which measured reasoning skills needed for mathematics, science, chess and engineering.  Especially intriguing is the fact that those with no special instruction scored exactly the same as those who received computer instruction.

The conclusion is clear:  Early-life experiences determine which brain neurons will connect with others and which will die away.  And since neural connections impact every kind of intelligence, a child’s brain will only develop to its maximum potential when it’s exposed to essential enriching experiences in the child’s early years. In other words, training in music generates in the child the neural connections necessary for abstract reasoning.

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