The benefits of children learning to play an instrument in their early years extend to adulthood. This is at least true for those who continue to be involved in music as adults.
The most important skills gained in learning music are focus and the ability to discern tones through layers of sounds. It has been proven that people who have had early childhood musical training possess a wider range of auditory skills.
In a bid to determine how people respond to a variety of complex sounds, researchers at Northwestern University recorded the electrical brain waves of college students. The test facilitators found out that a group of students who claimed to have received some form of musical training during childhood fared better in picking out elements such as pitch through the complex sounds they were made to listen to.
According to Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of the Johns Hopkins University, “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain.”
Brain images of young music students also showed developments in the networks associated to fine motor tasks and spatial intelligence.