Can music make your child smarter?

I’ve recently come across an interesting article about the effect of Children getting involved in Music

Are you ready to rock and roll? See what the experts (and the kids!) have to say about getting your kids involved in music
By John Crossingham
Originally published in Today’s Parent March 2012

Most parents can agree that kids just get music, instinctively and instantly. We recognize it the first moment we successfully calm a hysterical newborn with a ballad or watch a toddler, who can barely stand, boogie to the rhythm of a song. But what else is going on in their little brains when the baby dance-a-thon in the kitchen is going strong?

A lot, it turns out. Recent studies have shown that interacting with music – as opposed to just listening to it – has the power to improve your rugrats’ abilities to understand language, do math and much more.

Recently, E. Glenn Schellenberg from the University of Toronto has shown that music lessons can boost a child’s IQ, while Krista L. Hyde from McGill University in Montreal has demonstrated how lessons can change a brain’s actual structure – even suggesting they could help children with developmental disorders. More and more, music appears to be an all-in-one workout machine in the weight room of your kid’s brain.

Now, for some, this music-as-brain-superfood thing seems like déjà vu. Remember the Mozart effect, the ’90s fad that led a generation of parents to believe that playing classical music for their children could turn them into geniuses?

“Listening will do nothing for the brain,” says Sylvain Moreno, the world-renowned neuroscientist and leading researcher at Baycrest, a cognitive neuroscience and memory research centre affiliated with the University of Toronto. “You have to be in a kind of interaction with music.”

The award-winning Moreno’s on going research into how music affects a child’s cognitive skills has so far come to one overwhelming conclusion: When children engage with music — actively play or study — their cognitive skills are strengthened.

Music helps develop cognitive skills in children. Read on to find out more>

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