Practicing and performing with a musical instrument may improve students' cognitive development, according to studies released at the recent Society for Neuroscience meeting. As an education intervention, "[i]t's really hard to come up with an experience similar to that," noted Gottfried Schlaug, director of the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. Scientists cited studies showing increased development in brain areas associated with language and executive function in children, as well as in patients who have had strokes or disease.

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