[dropcap]A[/dropcap] new study published in the journal PLOS One find that musical training may improve executive brain function as compared to those with no musical training. Executive function is defined as processes in the brain responsible for retaining information, decision making, problem solving and regulating behavior.
According to senior researcher Dr. Nadine Gaab at the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital, executive function is a forecaster of getting good grades, “even more so than IQ”
The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to analyze the brains of children aged 9-12 years of age and had played musical instruments for at least two years. They also analyzed brains of 12 children of the same age that were not musically trained. The researchers also studied the brains of adults who were musicians and brains of non-musicians.
During cognitive tests both musically trained children and adults showed improvements with numerous areas of executive function, compared with children who were not musically trained and non-musician adults.
My take on this is picking up and an instrument and learning how to play it might be a great solution for many of us. Especially with unknown environmental factors that may be affecting children and even adults health from all socio-economic backgrounds. It’s very important that we take out time to allow ourselves to find that creative spark and allow ourselves release from some of the stress in our lives. Learning a musical instrument is just one of the many ways we could do that. The fact that learning a musical instrument may also improve executive function is definitely an added bonus.