Can second language ability be predicted through music? Well, maybe!
This study tried to shed light on the following gap in our understanding.
“While musicality and working memory are mostly treated as clear predictors of foreign language learning ability, the relationship between brain morphology and language aptitude is far from obvious.”
Basically, we know that if a student has high levels of musicality and working memory, they are more likely to be able to learn a second language. However, we do not know what is going on in the brain that makes this so. Furthermore, this paper puts forward the idea that if we can identify anatomical markers in the brain that remain stable from early childhood to adulthood (meaning we may have more of our cognitive capacity set at birth than was previously thought) then where do we sit with the idea of being able to change our brains through experiences in life?
Is our cognitive capacity or ability set at birth? Is it highly changeable and depends on our experiences and opportunities in life? How do we reconcile the many stories of people who have defied their predispositions and gone on to accomplish and learn amazing things?
Check out our “Get your Bigger Better Brain at home” series for at-home activities aimed to either relieve stress and/or supercharge your students brains for learning
How do we feel about the idea that we are given most of our abilities at birth, and very few experiences can shift the meter? These are all big questions about the human condition, not just about music learning, and it is important to look at both what brain science suggests and what human history and experience has found.