In one study, “Music training alters the course of adolescent auditory development,” Northwestern University researchers studied the affects of in-school music training on adolescents, discovering that it improves sound processing and language skills.
Specifically, compared to those who don’t study music, musicians tend to show enhanced:
1. ability to perceive speech in noise,
2. verbal memory,
3. language skills, and
4. reading abilities.
Musicians tend to:
5. respond to sound faster and
6. differentiate speech sounds to a greater extent.
According to the study, adolescents who study music in school
7. maintained higher neural consistency throughout high school and
8. showed the cortical responses of an adult earlier, suggesting that in-school music accelerates neurodevelopment.
9. These changes seem to benefit literacy skills. Although the two groups of high school students in the study both improved in language awareness relative to the general population, the music training group improved more.
Click here for a link to the full study write-up: http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu/projects/music/index.php