Although the results were published two years ago, I only learned of it recently. And this isn’t the first study to find a link. A 2004 study by E. Glenn Schellenberg at the University of Toronto at Mississauga found a small increase in the IQs of six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons. Another study by Ellen Winner of Boston College and Gottfried Schlaug of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School found changes in the brain images of children after 15 months of weekly music instruction and practice.
Kraus and her team found that music lessons improved children’s ear for speech. This helped kids learn language more quickly, which in turn boosted reading skills. So music lessons can give low-income kids the extra lift they need to put them on the path to academic success. We know that if kids can’t read at grade level by third grade, their chances of catching up grow more and more dismal. The question is, are we willing to invest in music?