The study was published by the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and the authors analysed brain scans of 232 children aged 6-18.
The authors found that playing music altered the behaviour-regulating and motor areas of the brain.
Previous studies had shown a correlation between thickening and thinning of the cortex in specific places and mental health problems in children, such as anxiety, depression and attention problems.
In this study, music practice was found to influence the thickness of the area of the cortex associated with “executive functioning, including working memory, attentional control, as well as organization and planning for the future.”
The study supports The Vermont Family Based Approach, a model which was created by James Hudziak, who is the lead author of this study.