Posted by Melissa Burlaga
Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) The impact music can have in your child's development is greater than previously thought.
A new study by Harvard researchers found that children who practice a musical instrument for three years outperform those who never practice and not just in their ability to play music.
Barbara Reyelts has that story in today's report from connect with kids.
Three years ago Garrett began learning guitar, about the same time his grades improved especially in English.
"I'm pretty good at regurgitating information like vocab quizzes and stuff like that, just memorizing a word."
Was there a connection between the music and his memory?
Harvard researchers followed 41 kids who practiced either the piano or a stringed instrument for at least three years and compared them to 18 kids who only took a general music class in school.
They found that those kids who practiced an instrument scored better on certain tests that measure visual and verbal ability.
"Some analogy has been made that it's like cross-training in exercising. That by working different parts of your brain actively, you can improve functioning in many different areas."
What's more, the study found, the longer and more intensely that children trained with their musical instrument.
The better they did on the tests.
Experts say memorizing is a skill which along with most things improves with practice.
And music may be one way of getting that practice.
"You can kind of look at it look at it one time and then play it back."
Still, to prove conclusively a connection between music and memory will take further study.
Either way, that's ok with Garrett's mom.
"I enjoy listening to him and putting something together."
For more information on kids and families log on to connectwithkids.com