I've been thinking about putting my daughter in piano lessons. We just got a FREE upright piano from my husband's co-worker that's in great shape (the piano, not the co-worker) and right now all she does is bang on it. (She's 5 and my son is 3, so that's about why I expect at this age.)
I just read this study about how childhood music lessons might provide a boost in brain function all the way through your senior (senior citizen, that is!) years. Even people who stopped taking lessons or playing an instrument performed better on cognitive tests than those who never studied an instrument.
These are people between age 60 and 83!
All 70 of the people studied had similar levels of education and fitness, and showed no evidence of Alzheimer's. All started playing an instrument around age 10. about 25% played a woodwind instrument (flute or clarinet, for example), 50% studied piano, and the rest played stringed instruments, brass or percussion (drums).
Those who studied the longest did best on the cognitive tests, including visuospatial memory, naming objects and the brain's ability to adapt to new info.
If I wasn't already convinced that music lessons would be good for my daughter, I am now!
Here's the study:
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