The Far-Reaching Value of Musical Training: Nina Kraus
A plethora of recent research has shown that the benefits of music education to increase the neurological capacities of school age children. Presented below is a sample of the ever-growing body of evidence that music education programs can fundamentally change the way that the young brain wires and that the benefits of such instruction may allow students to experience developmental effects long after the actual instruction has occurred.
The Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois has led the charge, exploring the long term neurobiological and developmental consequences of music education, particularly as they relate to students coming from disadvantaged socioeconomic conditions. A recent study conducted by Dr. Nina Kraus, et al., shows that one year of music education programming can have significant effects in ameliorating the language deficits generally referred to as the “signature of poverty.” Her research can be found here.
In May 2017, Todd Rundgren made this statement about Dr. Nina and her work:
When we took the leap and decided to found the Spirit of Harmony, our priority was to have a clear purpose based on real data. Everyone believes that music is a good thing but it was important to prove that it was a vital thing to the development of young minds. The work of Dr. Kraus and her team at Northwestern provided the critical data that gave us the ammunition to make our case. And as her work has proceeded, our arsenal has only expanded. It would be criminally negligent if this work became hobbled in any way. Our support for Dr. Nina represents our payback for the powerful advocacy that she has given us all.
- How Music Training Alters the Teenage Brain
- Music Enrichment Programs Improve the Neural Encoding of Speech in At-Risk Children
- Your Brain on Music Education
- Why Music Makes Our Brain Sing
- This is Your Brain on Music
- More evidence that musical training protects the brain
Additional Physiological Benefits of Music Education
There is in ever-increasing body of study on the benefits of music therapy in people with Alzheimers, dementia, dyslexia, autism, ADHD, and other conditions– both listening to music and playing music. For some individuals, music involvement could potentially mitigate behavioral patterns that might otherwise be treated as discipline problems or pharmaceutical issues.