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Strike Up the Band for Better Grades

By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Not every budding musician will become a rock star, but studying music has brain bonuses for kids, even those who don't take up an instrument until their teen years.

There's no doubt that participation in in-school music programs boosts motivation. Mastering an instrument or performing with a group brings a sense of accomplishment and is a wonderful creative outlet. What's more, it can enhance other types of learning, research has revealed.

Scientists compared the brain gains among high schoolers involved in band classes for two or three hours a week to those participating in a fitness program.

The young musicians showed faster maturation in the brain's response to sound and in sensitivity to sound details. Both are important for language skills and, in turn, academic success. The students developed what's called learning to learn. (This isn't to say that kids should ignore exercise -- fitness has other essential benefits, so it's important to make time in your children's lives for both types of activities.)

Ideally, music instruction would begin in middle school and continue through high school. One study found that this continued involvement was associated with a high-level of math proficiency in grade 12.

Unfortunately, music programs are often the victim of budget cutbacks. If your child's school doesn't have a music program, consider investing in outside lessons from a local musician or a music school. They're available for all ages, from Kindermusik (kindermusik.com) for the toddler set to the School of Rock (schoolofrock.com) of movie fame.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has great ideas on how to teach kids about music as early as their toddler years.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=741155

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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