A new study suggests that the connection between music and math occurs for various reasons. Many of them may not be what most musicians or mathematicians expect. The connection is not completely obvious.
Musicians and scientists have long explored the connection between musical talent and other areas of a person’s life, such as the ability to focus, or understand math. There is no precise determination of the connection, but researchers do know that music enhances cognitive capability.
Nadine Gaab, principal investigator at the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital, is quoted in the summary of research found in Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights
“If you play a musical instrument, your brain shows changes,” she said. “Auditory, because you’re using your ears a lot … and then motor because you’re doing a lot of practice with your fingers and arms…It is unclear, to this stage, whether musicians have that because they are born with [it] and they are just really good with listening and doing certain finger movements and that’s why they’re drawn to music. Or it’s the other way around, and music actually changes the brain? We don’t know that yet.”
More information about the summary of research can be found in Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights