What an amazing study done by Northwestern University showing that simply taking music lessons as a child can improve your cognitive ability as you age and actually offset natural degradation. Music lessons from over 40 years ago still resonated with– and improved the brain performance of– participants.
They can now measure the reaction speed of the brain to sound. They played the participants letter sounds and measured how long it took their brains to understand the sound. The results were overlayed with the lesson history of the participants.
If they had several years total of any musical lessons they were in Group A. If they had very little or no musical training in their youth they were in Group B. The total pool consisted of adults from ages 55-76.
Group A consistently processed the sound 1millisecond faster than Group B.
If 1ms doesn’t sound like much remember it adds up. That’s 1ms per letter sound so imagine an entire conversation of 1ms pauses and you have slow and possibly degrading conversation ability.
Buy or give music lessons to your kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces, or even the neighbor’s kid. It’s one of the best things you can do for them.