Musical training helps reading skills

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

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Musical practice keeps your reading levels strong!

Did your school recently announce their plans to cut the music department? Well, they should really think twice about doing so. According to a new study, music training helps children maintain their reading ability, comprehend language easier, and excel in processing sound!

A group of scientists from Northwestern University wanted to study the effects of music-based instruction on students from underprivileged areas, so they designed two important studies.

In the first study, one group of children received at least five hours’ worth of training per week, while a second group of students did not get any exposure to music education. About a year later, the youngsters that didn’t practice music demonstrated a decrease in their reading scores. Meanwhile, the kids who were playing music at least 5 hours a week maintained their reading abilities!

If that’s not enough of a reason to turn off the TV and pick up an instrument, the second study will really get you pumped. Scientists observed a group of kids with similar reading abilities, comparing those who joined music programs like band or choir with those who didn’t. By the end of two years, the kids enrolled in the music-enriched programs were much better at hearing a speech against a noisy background. This may not seem like a glamorous skill, but it can definitely come in handy when trying to focus on a teacher’s voice in a loud classroom.

Featured image courtesy of Oberazzi on Flickr.