A recent study shows that taking music lessons during childhood may physically change and improve your brain.
Researchers from Beijing Normal University in China found that starting lessons before age 7 is associated with greater volume in brain regions linked with self-awareness and hearing, compared with starting music lessons after that age. Early music learning can advance their cognitive skills and physically restructurizes the brain’s cortex (the outer layer of the brain).
The study included young adult participants between the ages of 19 and 21. They all started with formal training, but some started before age 7 and the others started after that age. Researchers found that those who started at an earlier age had a thicker cortex compared to those who started after age 7.
Researchers in McGill University also learned that musical training before age 7 is linked with more white matter in the corpus callosum part of the brain, as well as better performance on visual sensorimotor synchronization tasks compared with people who started music training after age 7.
In addition, researchers from Northwestern University who studied electrical activity of men’s and women’s auditory brainstem found that brain responses to speech are faster among older adults who took childhood music lessons — even if they haven’t played an instrument for awhile.
References: Huffingtonpost.com.Taking Music Lessons as a Child Could Physically Change your Brain.  14 Nov. 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/14/music-lessons-brain-child-physical-changes_n_4260917.html
Huffingtonpost.com.Childhood Music Lessons Could Benefit Your Brain Later On.  07 Nov 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/music-lessons-brain-childhood-adult_n_4214288.html