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Official: Study music for better communication

Research suggests strong connection between learning an instrument and learning to talk, listen and read

A scientific study has suggested there's a strong link between children learning to play a musical instrument and developing better communication skills.

The research implies that a musical education could be more valuable to educational development than many authorities believe.

The study was carried out by Northwestern University, who took high school students from Chicago and placed half in a standard course, and the rest in a musical training programme.

The results indicate that those who were taught to play music showed faster response times when it came to interpreting speech – and also showed improved reading ability.

University director Nina Kraus tells Good Magazine: “Music and language skills rely upon sound processing. Although reading may not be thought of as an auditory activity, its foundation rests on a child making sense of incoming input in order to map speech sounds correctly. 

“Many aspects of sound processing that are deficient in children with language and learning impairment have been found to be strengthened in those who receive music training.

“Music-based interventions have demonstrated some success in the remediation of reading problems, too.”

In light of the findings, Kraus now wants to see musical training introduced as a core element of the US educational system.

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