CHICAGO (CBS) — Northwestern University researchers say a new study suggests that parents should give their children music lessons.

Those lessons might pay off later in life, in more ways than you think.

Northwestern neuroscience professor Nina Kraus said a recent study showed if you start a child off with music lessons on some instrument and he or she keeps up with that instrument for life, that musical training will have a positive effect on hearing – as the person ages.

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“We wondered whether playing an instrument throughout one’s life might incur an advantage that we would see in terms of nervous system function,” Kraus said.

The short answer is yes.

How does that translate into day-to-day life and what will older musicians be able to do that older non-musicians can’t?

“Hear their friend in a noisy restaurant and remember what they said,” Kraus said.

She said it is not good enough to just listen to music throughout life. You have to play it.


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