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Music and Brain Development

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: From a television educational channel about a year ago explained the development of the brain of a young child. It was explained that a small section of a child's brain holds music knowledge. By the time the child is 8 years old - this small section brain usually closes and can no longer collect the knowledge.

Do you know of anyone who can explain that to me? It is important for me to understand it. Thank you.

A: A child's brains is shaped the most during the first 10 years of life. The younger the child, the more able s/he is to develop connections that may be used later in life. Reading to and singing with your child every day is a simple and effective way to help brain development. Research have indicated specifically links on the study of music and other art forms which is essential for brain development. One such research demonstrated that preschoolers who were given keyboard lessons and did group singing scored higher on tests measuring spatial reasoning (which is a skill used later in math, science and engineering). They found that music lessons resulted in higher spatial reasoning scores than equivalent instruction in computer skills.

I have not ventured deeply in this area; hence all I can provide you for now are a few links that I believe may be helpful.

An interesting read would be an article by Donald A. Hodges, Institute for Music Research, University of Texas at San Antonio. More information on music training and brain.

Contact: Leah Ariniello, Science Writer, Society for Neuroscience, 11 Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 500, Washington DC, 20036.

My very best wishes.

"Music is a moral law.
It gives soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
a charm to sadness,
gaiety and life to everything.
It is the essence of order and
lends to all that is good and just and beautiful." - Plato


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