By David Johnson, Chocolate Fest Intern
“The same biological ingredients that are important for reading are those that are strengthened through playing a musical instrument.”
This was a quote from Dr. Nina Kraus who is a professor of communication sciences, neurobiology, and physiology, and the director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University. She has been studying the impact of music training on a child’s cognitive development for almost a decade. Her extensive research has been published in more than 200 journals and media publications.
Kraus and her team compare how the brains of musicians and non-musicians respond to sound and the impact music playing has on the musician’s attention, language, memory and reading abilities.
Her findings have a clear message for parents and policymakers.
“It’s not just about your child becoming a violinist,” said Kraus, “It’s about setting up your child to be a more effective learner for all kinds of things… The brain continues to profit long after the music lessons have stopped,”