By Eric Felten
A new study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found that children who take up a musical instrument develop better language skills.
Which raises the question: Why does music build cognitive power? The researchers have a theory:
“Playing music requires continued monitoring of meaningful chunks of information… these chunks entail clusters of notes that are combined into meaningful melodic gestures and phrases.”
In other words, music is a language — with its own syntax and vocabularies. Work at learning it and you enhance your ability at other languages as well.