Albert Einstein’s mother was a talented musician who made musical expression a part of daily home life when her children were growing up. Albert Einstein began playing the violin when he was 6 years old. By the age of 13, he was playing Mozart’s sonatas. Einstein once said, “Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.”
A new study from Boston Children’s Hospital found a correlation between musical training and improved executive function in both children and adults. Previous studies have identified a link between musical training and cognitive abilities, but few have looked specifically at the effects of early musical training on executive function.
Executive functions (EF) are described as high-level cognitive processes that enable people to quickly process and retain information, regulate their behaviors, make good choices, solve problems, plan and adjust to changing mental demands. Another component of EF is having cognitive flexibility as represented by the ability to adjust to novel or changing tasks on demand.
Three Brain Benefits of Musical Training:
1. Musicians have an enhanced ability to integrate sensory information from hearing, touch, and sight.
2. Beginning training before the age of seven has been shown to have the greatest impact. The age at which musical training begins affects brain anatomy as an adult.