Some experts claim that learning to play an instrument makes kids smarter in math, but that conclusion is based on research that focused on older children, not babies and young toddlers. However, plenty of research shows that studying music at a young age profoundly influences brain development.
A study involving both college students and 5-year-olds suggests that listening to pleasing music improves performance on cognitive tests and promotes creativity.
Other research shows that newborns can discriminate between their native language and unfamiliar language by listening to pitch and rhythm. At 2 months old, according to one study, infants can remember brief melodies. And some experts say that fetuses as young as 35 weeks can distinguish between and remember different sounds.