. . . Listening to any kind of music, however, appears to be good for us in the neurological, if not the aesthetic, sense. Studies have found that music lights up not just particular parts of the brain, as in the case of language and other cultural activities, but all of the brain. . .
. . . “When you think about it, it isn’t surprising,” says Ball. “In fact, it’s probably why we listen to music. It engages the emotions, the intellect, language processing centres, and obviously some music engages the body as well. It’s a gymnasium for the mind.” . . .
. . . “One of the interesting things is that musical training produces an enhancement in the corpus callosum – that’s the bit of the brain that communicates between hemispheres,” says Ball. “I get a bit tired of the popular idea we have of ‘left brain and right brain’ – and I like the fact that music subverts that, because it‘s using both integrated together. It seems that in musicians the two are, literally, more firmly welded together.” . . .
. . . It has to do with the instantaneous nature of certain musical effects on our brains. . . “If you look at what’s going on in the brain at that point,” says Ball, “the sensory inputs take a short cut to our emotional centres. And there are good evolutionary reasons that should be so. There have been times in the past where we’ve had to respond at a gut level – straight away, before we have time to really think about what it is that we’re hearing.” . . .
. . . “But the main thing I wanted to stress is how important music is in the education of the brain, and in education generally. It’s so important for the development of the brain itself, and for the development of sociality, and because it gives us this rich neurological experience. What’s clear from these studies is that music has so many benefits that it needs to be a core part of the educational curriculum – and not an optional extra.” . . .