Music learning has been found to significantly improve hearing in children. And when we say hearing we mean not just the detection of sound but the processing of sound for meaning. If we spend a great deal of time in our childhood actively processing sound (not just hearing a lot of consistent sounds from a TV or traffic sounds) then our auditory processing is in great shape and will continue to be as we age.
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Does this impact on hearing loss? It seems that it does as this study showed that 40 percent of the middle-aged musicians that were tested had better speech-in-noise processing. The article suggests that “The take-home message: If you’re an older musician, don’t stop playing. And if you gave it up, it may be time to dust off the old violin.”
As well as music learning, could it also be that musicians, who may be more aware of the importance of their auditory processing and hearing, engage in safer behaviours when it comes to noise and their hearing? What do you think?
Check out the article here.