Does music make you smarter?
Does music make you smarter? Alexis Rodolico plays the violin in a bunny suit during Easter celebrations in New York (Reuters)
Does music make you smarter?
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Playing an instrument just might make kids become stronger students.

Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois believe that the music training helped students do better in school.

A two-year study of 44 children shows that the musical training changes the brain. It makes it easier to process sounds. The Journal of Neuroscience reported the improvement is linked to improved skills in reading and speech.

But there is one catch. People have to actually play an instrument to get smarter. They can't just crank up the tunes on their iPod.

Nina Kraus of Northwestern compared the difference to that of building up one's body through exercise.

Researchers studied the students over two years. One year of musical training didn't make a difference in brain changes. Two years did.

Adelina Flores, whose 11-year-old daughter, America, was a test subject, said she wasn't surprised. Her daughter had already told her she was getting better at math. Playing music, America said, had taught her to divide notes into fractions.

"She's improved a lot through this," Adelina Flores said. "And she's grown to be more confident, too."

Critical thinking challenge: Why do you need to play an instrument to get the benefits? What is the difference between playing music and listening to it?

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  • AliannaR-Saw
    9/05/2014 - 02:11 p.m.

    I think music cant make you smarter I think you should try best , study hard , and believe in your self

  • BrayanL-Saw
    9/05/2014 - 02:21 p.m.

    it is a great entertainment. These are awesome thing to do. You'll have fun.

  • Robin23
    9/08/2014 - 02:39 p.m.

    Yes i am pretty sure it does cause you have to read notes and stuff

  • Ashley0207-yyca
    9/12/2014 - 08:17 p.m.

    How does music make you smart? I think music makes you smart because students have no problem with music class. I think this a weird article because music can't make you smart, it can make you understand how to read music notes. I don't agree because a person can't just get smarter by reading musical notes. I am very amazed because how can people get smart by reading musical notes. I can't see why people get smarter by playing music. Sometimes you can read tons of books and get smart.

    I just can't understand why music can make you smarter.

  • naranda0623
    9/25/2014 - 05:07 p.m.

    I play a musical instrument and i have improved. I got better at math and reading. I got better at by doing examples that contain music. An example is if you have 10 flutes and you need to multiply that by 6 bells and the answer is 60 musical instruments.

  • John0724-YYCA
    4/22/2015 - 08:47 p.m.

    I really don't think that music makes you smarter because when you learn an instrument, in class you might get too focused on music and you might think of music which is known as day dreaming while teacher is asking you to solve a problem. Well this article is weird because if it makes you smarter by learning an instrument why can't listening music doesn't work because it basically is the sae thing but listening is just doesn't need your hands and legs to move.

  • Camilamuoz
    7/09/2015 - 11:07 p.m.

    Researchers at Northwestern University think that the musical training changes make people smarter. The musical training improved skills in reading and speech. But people have to play an instrument to become smarter, is not enough listen the music of your iPhone or that sort of things. A girl it was a test subject and she was getting better at math. You need to play an instrument to get the benefits because if you learn to play an instrument you can develop more your senses and understand the things easily. The difference between playing music and listening to it is that when you are playing music you have to concentrate and put all your senses in what you are playing, but when you are listening music you can do anything while you are listening music.

  • shauniem-war
    12/22/2015 - 09:59 a.m.

    I totally agree with the author of this article. I feel that playing an instrument does make the students stronger students. Music makes your brain work more you have to remember the notes and keep yourself in beat and count rests. You have to put a lot of effort in playing an instrument. I feel that playing an instrument makes you stronger intellectually and makes you grow spiritually.

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