When Robert Preston (Professor Harold Hill) and Shirley Jones (Marian Paroo) made theatrical/film music history in 1962 with "The Music Man," it was the most popular feel-good production of its day.
That was more than 45 years ago, and today we're still discovering the power music has to take care of your troubles — whether you live "right here in River City" or not.
A new study from MIT and researchers working in Beijing found that musical training — specifically piano — improves language-learning skills for children, and is possibly more beneficial than offering children extra reading lessons.
Looking at three test groups of 74 kids four to five years old, researchers found that giving piano lessons at the age when they're developing their vocabulary "uniquely enhanced cortical responses to pitch changes in music and speech ... [T]he piano group demonstrated unique advantages over the reading and control groups in consonant-based word discrimination."
In short, musical training helped the preschoolers with speech-sound processing.
This follows a report this year in Neuron on a National Institutes of Health/Kennedy Center workshop on Music and the Brain that says musical training in children can foster the development of a variety of nonmusical skills, may have cognitive-sharpening abilities, and could relieve stress and help treat depression.
So to paraphrase Professor Hill — you've got "P" and that stands for "Proof."
© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.