Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, recently lead a study on the importance and benefits of hands-on participation in music over passive listening. These new developments in brain research encourage active engagement in instrument playing and music making for students of all ages. Kraus expands,
It turns out that playing a musical instrument is important,” Kraus said, differentiating her group’s findings from the now- debunked myth that just listening to certain types of music improves intelligence, the so-called “Mozart effect.” “We don’t see these kinds of biological changes in people who are just listening to music, who are not playing an instrument,” said Kraus. “I like to give the analogy that you’re not going to become physically fit just by watching sports.” It’s important to engage with the sound in order to reap the benefits and see changes in the central nervous system.