Early musical training produces ‘long-lasting effects on performance and the brain’

A recent article in the New Scientist reveals that starting to learn a musical instrument at an early age can coincide with a key period of neurological development.

MRI scans revealed that the white matter in the corpus callosum – the brain region that links the two hemispheres – had more extensive wiring and connectivity in the early starters. … the corpus callosum aids speed and synchronisation in tasks involving both hands, such as playing musical instruments…

…younger-trained musicians may have an advantage because their training coincides with a key period of brain development . At age 7 or 8, the corpus callosum is more receptive than ever to the alterations in connectivity necessary to meet the demands of learning an instrument.

Image: Mikael Damkier/Alamy

Although starting to learn early helps develop connectivity in the brain, the article goes on to say that this does not, alas, guarantee musical genius. Darn…

Read the full article here.


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