Listening to music while studying is really common. Kids do it to keep themselves entertained, college kids do it because they think they are pro at multi-tasking and want some background noise. Well, it turns out that music helps improve learning ability. Moms and dads you can stop turning off your kids’ stereo while they are studying – it’s actually helping them!
Researchers from Northwestern University found that music plays an important role in nervous system development. Music training in fact improved the brain’s overall ability to learn new things, something I can safely say that we all enjoy. Lead researcher, Nina Kraus, was quoted saying, “the brain is unable to process all of the available sensory information from second to second, and thus must selectively enhance what is relevant. Playing an instrument primes the brain to choose what is relevant in a complex process that may involve reading or remembering a score, timing issues and coordination with other musicians.”
So what’s she saying? Kraus is saying that musical training helps develop the foundation of thinking, allowing for your cognitive function to improve over the course of your life. Additionally, children who get musical training have greater vocabulary, can better interpret pitch changes in speech, and reading ability than kids with no musical training.