The idea that music makes you smarter received considerable attention from scientists and the media. Listening to music or playing an instrument can actually make you learn better. And research confirms this.
Music has the power to enhance some kinds of higher brain function:
Reading and literacy skills11-13
Mathematical abilities16-17 – Even children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder benefit in mathematics tests from listening to music beforehand.
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14. Spatial-Temporal Task Performance Jausovec N, Jausovec K, Gerlic I. The influence of Mozart’s music on brain activity in the process of learning. Jausovec N, Jausovec K, Gerlic I. Clin Neurophysiol. 2006 Dec;117(12):2703-14. PubMed
15. Sarnthein J, vonStein A, Rappelsberger P, Petsche H, Rauscher FH, Shaw GL. Persistent patterns of brain activity: an EEG coherence studyof the positive effect of music on spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurol Res. 1997 Apr;19(2):107-16. PubMed
16. Schmithorst VJ, Holland SK. The effect of musical training on the neural correlates of math processing: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study in humans. Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jan 16;354(3):193-6. PubMed
17. Rauscher FH, Shaw GL, Levine LJ, Wright EL, Dennis WR, Newcomb RL. Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning. Neurol Res. 1997 Feb;19(1):2-8. PubMed