An infant's experiences actually develops their brain. The first four years of life are when the brain is "built". Babies who have more sensory experiences are able to develop more brain power.
Stimulating activities developed more synapses per nerve cell and more blood vessels to nourish each cell. Rich experiences really do produce rich minds.
Scientists have found that music has the ability to train the brain for higher levels of thinking – involving problem solving, inference, arriving at conclusions, comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between two or more objects, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information.
It is not how many brain cells one has but the number of interconnections among brain cells. Children raised in a rich sensory environment create many more neuronal connections.
Hands-on parenting cannot be underestimated in its effect on young children and their brain development. As parents, we must provide numerous ongoing and enriching experiences that will nourish our children’s brains. Music is such an experience.
The “Mozart Effect”, reported as an increase of spatial-temporal reasoning (mental images) after briefly listening to Mozart. This is the most well-known music research in the public mind but most media neglected to mention the effect is temporary.
"Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education" - Plato
Learning to play an instrument may produce a greater capability to mentally imagine and process sounds in general, perhaps even speech.
Learning to play an instrument refines the development of the brain and the entire Neuroscience system. It also connects and develops the motor systems of the brain in a way that cannot be done by any other activity.
Tonotopic maps, used to determine pitch of note played on a piano, are about 25% larger in musicians than non-musicians, demonstrating that musical experiences during childhood influence the development of the auditory cortex.
Music training can affect brain organization. Research shows the planum temporale (used in language and in early auditory processing) and corpus callosum (used to transfer information from one hemisphere of the brain to the other) are larger in musicians than in non-musicians and even more exaggerated for those musicians who started training before age seven.