Early childhood training in music has been associated with increased IQ scores, mostly on the verbal scales, but some studies also find improvements in spatial reasoning. Early music training was also associated with improved reading skills and phonological development.
In adult life, it is often found that persons who are accomplished in mathematics or sciences dependent on mathematics, are also skilled musicians.
Brain changes that accompany early childhood training in music (or foreign language, or any number of other key basic skills) are likely to make it easier for the child to learn a number of other, related skills, later in life.
The effect of early musical training on adult motor performance: evidence for a sensitive period in motor learning (Citations: 19)
Donald Watanabe, Tal Savion-Lemieux, Virginia B. Penhune
Developmental changes in the human brain coincide with and underlie changes in a wide range of motor and cognitive abilities. Neuroimaging studies have shown that musical training can result in structural and functional plasticity in the brains of musicians, and that this plasticity is greater for those who begin training early in life. However, previous studies have not controlled for differences between early-trained (ET) and late-trained (LT) musicians in the total number of years of musical training and experience. In the present experiment, we tested musicians who began training before and after the age of 7 on learning of a timed motor sequence task. The groups were matched for years of musical experience, years of formal training and hours of current practice. Results showed that ET musicians performed better than LT musicians, and that this performance advantage persisted after 5 days of practice. Performance differences were greatest for a measure of response synchronization, suggesting that early training has its greatest effect on neural systems involved in sensorimotor integration and timing. These findings support the idea that there may be a sensitive period in childhood where enriched motor training through musical practice results in long-lasting benefits for performance later in life. These results are also consistent with the results of studies showing structural changes in motor-related regions of the brain in musicians that are specifically related to training early in life.
Journal: Experimental Brain Research – EXP BRAIN RES , vol. 176, no. 2, pp. 332-340, 2007
Sensitive Period in Early Childhood Music Training
This posting is not necessarily meant to promote music training, or to elevate the early childhood teaching of music above several other crucial areas of early childhood learning. Rather it is meant to illustrate how the teaching of early childhood skills — at an age when children crave adult attention and grasp every opportunity to please parents and other adult caregivers — shapes the brain in ways that make the child more capable of self reliance in later life.
For generations now, parents have been told that they are not qualified to take charge of the education and upbringing of their own children. Parents are pushed aside by educational functionaries, closely watched by government social workers, and generally discouraged by academics and media celebrities from taking too strong a role in a child’s upbringing.
The result of this multi-decadal lapse of parenting is large scale helplessness, cluelessness, and a general dumbing down of entire generations of lifelong quasi-adolescent psychological neotenates. Those who attend university are caused further suffering by undergoing academic lobotomies — indoctrination in crippling, dysfunctional ideologies. The end result is a failure to learn to think for oneself, and a lifelong dependency on groupthink and the perceived opinions of others — particularly in government, media, academia, and among the pseudo-intellectual class.
The Dangerous Child Method of Education and Child Rearing is meant as an antidote to this society-wide, politically correct designed obsolescence of successive generations of students.
As the need for a different approach is laid out, a general outline to be followed will gradually take shape. The ideas will never be presented in a form meant to be applied to every child, uniformly. Rather, the importance of approaching each child as a unique individual will be emphasised. Not in the sense of training yet another generation of spoiled narcissists, but rather in the sense of providing each child with the skill sets that he can best and most joyfully — and profitably — master.