Another Study Confirms Learning Music Increases IQ
Learning a musical instrument can be used as a therapy for enhancing brain’s cognitive abilities, reveals a new study.
It is a known fact that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians and areas of the brain used to process music are larger or more active in musicians.
Lead researcher Lutz Jancke, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, proposes using music in neuropsychological therapy, for example to improve language skills, memory, or mood.
For children especially we found that learning to play the piano, for instance, teaches them to be more self-disciplined, more attentive and better at planning,” Jancke said.
While writing in Faculty of 1000 Biology Reports, Jancke said that even just starting to learn a musical instrument can change the neurophysiology of the brain. Research suggests that practising scales and chords and mastering complex patterns of notes changes the shape of the brain. It can even boost IQ by as much as seven points.
The parts of the brain that control motor skills, hearing and memory become larger and more active when a person learns how to play an instrument. Alertness, planning and the ability to read emotions also improve. Essentially the architecture of the brain changes.
“If music has such a strong influence on brain plasticity this raises the question of whether this effect can be used to enhance cognitive performance. We found that even in people over the age of 65 after four or five months of playing for an hour a week there were strong changes in the brain.” Jancke said. “Hopefully, the current trend in the use of musicians as a model for brain plasticity will continue … and extend to the field of neuropsychological rehabilitation.”