Learning to play a musical instrument changes the brain, leading to a slew of potential benefits, including improved learning and understanding of language, according to a recent review article.

Studies highlighted in the review suggest connections made between brain cells during musical training can aid in other forms of communication, such as speech, reading and understanding a foreign language.

“The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness,” the researchers say.

The studies suggest society should “re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development,” and schools should consider boosting efforts to incorporate musical training into the curriculum, the researchers say.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

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