Music training makes kids better learners

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Washington: Providing your kids with the opportunity to learn a musical instrument or to sing strengthens their reading and language skills, says a study.

Music training appears to enhance the way children's nervous systems process sounds in a busy environment, such as a classroom or a playground.

"This improved neural function may lead to enhanced memory and attention spans which, in turn, allow kids to focus better in the classroom and improve their communication skills," said Nina Kraus, a neurobiologist at Northwestern University in the US.

"We found that music training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner," Kraus noted.

The study involved hundreds of kids participating in music training programmes in Chicago and Los Angeles public schools.

Children who had no music training had diminished reading scores while reading scores of those who received musical training remained unchanged over the same time span.

The findings were recently presented at the American Psychological Association's 122nd annual convention.