Northwestern Study Finds Music Education Changes The Teen Brain

Becky Vevea

“There’s 41 of you here, and 41 minds have to be completely locked into what we’re doing in order for us to get that sound,” teacher Kelsey Tortorice tells her students at UIC College Prep, a campus of the Noble Street Network of Charter Schools in Chicago.

A new study by the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University revealed music instruction, and studying music in general, changes the teenage brain, so long as students participate for at least two years.

The researchers found that studying music alters teen brains in a way that makes them better able to focus and process sound — a development that’s particularly important for learning.