Official: Study music for better communication

A scientific study has suggested there’s a strong link between children learning to play a musical instrument and developing better communication skills.

The research implies that a musical education could be more valuable to educational development than many authorities believe.

The study was carried out by Northwestern University, who took high school students from Chicago and placed half in a standard course, and the rest in a musical training programme.

The results indicate that those who were taught to play music showed faster response times when it came to interpreting speech – and also showed improved reading ability.

University director Nina Kraus tells Good Magazine: “Music and language skills rely upon sound processing. Although reading may not be thought of as an auditory activity, its foundation rests on a child making sense of incoming input in order to map speech sounds correctly.

“Many aspects of sound processing that are deficient in children with language and learning impairment have been found to be strengthened in those who receive music training.

“Music-based interventions have demonstrated some success in the remediation of reading problems, too.”

In light of the findings, Kraus now wants to see musical training introduced as a core element of the US educational system.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.