Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Scientific Study Shows a Link Between Musical Training and Successful Children

Professor Harold Hill from The Music Man may have been onto something with his “Think System” after all! A new study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine shows a scientific link between playing an instrument and brain development.

Researchers studied the brain development of 232 children between the ages of 6 to 18, who played a musical instrument. "What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument," said James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, "it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control."

The authors of the study discovered results that were music to their ears—playing music altered the behavior-regulating areas of the brain. For instance, practicing music changed the thickness in the part of the cortex that pertains to "executive functioning, including working memory, attentional control, as well as organization and planning for the future," wrote the studies author’s.

Hudziak hopes his findings will help convince people to use positive things, such as music, as a treatment for psychological disorders such as ADHD. A disturbing fact from the U.S. Department of Education reveals, “three-quarters of U.S. high school students ‘Rarely or never’ take extracurricular lessons in music or the arts.”

It’s never too late for you or your child to get involved with music on some level, even if it’s simply listening. Here are some recommended songs performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square that you can enjoy with your children:

Love Is Spoken Here


A Child's Prayer


Love One Another


Read the original story from The University of Vermont. 

We recently published another article on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's blog about a study that showed a link between choir members singing in unison and their heartbeats synchronizing. Read the article here.