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According to the book, "Music And The Brain: How Music Changes The Brain" by C.D.Shelton, piano is the best instrument for the development of the brain. The younger you start, the "stronger the connections between motor regions (the part that helps you carry out movements)". The research (at Concordia University and Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University) "provides strong evidence that the years between six and eight are a 'sensitive period' when musical training interacts with normal brain development to produce long-lasting changes in motor abilities and brain structure. "Learning to play an instrument requires coordination between hands and with visual or auditory stimuli," says Professor Penhune. "Practicing an instrument before age seven likely boosts the normal maturation of connections between motor and sensory regions of the brain, creating a framework upon which ongoing training can subsequently build."" The results show that "musicians who started early showed enhanced white matter in the corpus collosum, or nerve fibers that connects the left and right motor regions of the brain." And further, "anatomical brain enhancement happens early on in life (6-8 years)". I also found it interesting that "early musical training enlarged that region of the right brain that corresponds in location to the left brain region for letters and words". Even in babies, "music stimulates growth of the brain that can result in better motor skills, advanced auditory and language skills and a smarter adult. If a child continues to hear music after birth, it can increase their capacity and interest in abstract things. If they learn more about music, particularly if they learn to play an instrument, they are likely to do well in academic studies (math). This is because they will have learned to count beats and measures and many of those involve fractions. There is enough evidence to prove that the impact of a musical background is significant." Children also have higher IQs and SAT scored, tend not to drop out, better people skills, problem solving, and it teaches them to pay attention to details.
Here is the payoff, "a child does not have to become proficient at an instrument to benefit from learning it. The educational process can help the youngster become more skilled at other learned skills, such as writing, painting, computer programming, anything that involves mathematics or lots of details. The things children become acquainted with in their early years will make them productive adults in the future."
So, what are you waiting for? Even older children and adults see improved memory and brain function as a result of musical study. Sign up!