Philosopher Plato once said, "Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue."

The key word in that quote is education.


You might have heard the claim music makes children smarter. But is it true?

Before you enroll your child in extracurricular activities this school year, WFMY News 2's Meghann Mollerus set out to verify.


To verify this story, we referenced one of the only known studies about this topic -- the 2014 "Harmony Project" study published in the Journal Of Neuroscience.

Researchers studied at-risk children from Los Angeles, enrolled in the Harmony Project -- a free music program. Scientists wanted to know why the kids enrolled in the Harmony Project had higher graduation rates and college enrollment than kids who didn't do the music program.

The study examined 44 children, ages 6.5 to 9.5, for two years. The children learned to read music, identify rhythm and play a variety of instruments. Researchers found no noticeable change in the first year. But after the second year, students had increased neural function. That means they had noticeably stronger reading and language skills than those who didn't.


The study concluded music programs do have the potential to increase children's brain function and communication skills. So, we verified it's true -- learning music does make children smarter.


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