A recent research study on the linkage between the arts and brain development shows that students of music have definite structural changes in happening in students who practice as little as 15 minutes a day.
So, I’m not making this all up! It’s really true.
From the Baltimore Sun article:
Charles Limb, a Johns Hopkins doctor and a jazz musician, studied jazz musicians by using imaging technology to take pictures of their brains as they improvised. He found that they allowed their creativity to flow by shutting down areas that regulated inhibition and self-control. So are the most creative people able to shut down those areas of the brain?
Most of the new research is focusing on the networks of the brain that are involved in specific tasks, said Michael Posner, a researcher at the University of Oregon. Posner has studied the effects of music on attention. What he found, he said, was that in those students who showed motivation and creativity, training in the arts helped develop their attention and their intelligence. The next great focus in this area, he said, is on proving the connection that most scientists believe exists between the study of music and math ability.
The imaging is now so advanced that scientists can already see the difference in the brain networks of those who study a string instrument and those who study the piano intensely.