Preliminary results are in from a five-year longitudinal research study by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, the USC Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI), and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA). HOLA is a large nonprofit community center for underserved youth. Since 2012, the study’s researchers have been investigating the impact of music training on children’s well-being and development. The brain science journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience reported in April that after two years of music training, children in the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at Heart of Los Angeles (YOLA at HOLA) program showed improved ability to process sound and accelerated maturation of their brains. Starting with children between ages 6 and 7, researchers are using neural and psychological assessments and advanced brain imaging techniques to track brain, emotional, and social development. Children in the YOLA at HOLA program are being compared to two control groups of children, one involved in sports but not music, and one with no systematic training. YOLA at HOLA is a partnership between the LA Phil and HOLA that provides free instruments and musical training to children from the Rampart District of Los Angeles.
Posted June 30, 2016