Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. Photo: Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging
Studying music may improve young children’s auditory and language-processing abilities, according to early findings of a study published in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. That could help kids learn to read.
University of Southern California researchers began following 45 children from lower-income bilingual families (most are Latino, one is Korean) when the children were 6 and 7, reportsEducation Week.
The Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles is teaching 13 of the children to play musical instruments using the El Sistema approach developed in Venezuela. Another group plays soccer and the third has no after-school activity.
After two years, brain scans showed the music students “had more-developed auditory pathways than their peers,” writes. “The authors write that this development in auditory processing also affects students’ ability to process speech and language — which means it could have an impact on students’ academic progress as well as their musical abilities.”