Learning a Second (or Third) Language

For many years now I have described music to my students, and their parents alike, as being similar to language.

My reasoning for drawing this parallel is that music and language are both auditory, both can be written down and read and both can be “spoken.” I recently came across a fascinating article that corroborates my assumption. Researchers described the push-and-pull that exists between musicians during a live performance as a “conversation.” Furthermore, they state that these instances of musical performance “take root in the brain as a language.”

Following that logic, we should get our children involved in music at the earliest age. It is accepted as common knowledge that it is far easier for children to learn a second or third language than it is for an adult with fully-formed brain. That is not to say that adults should not commit themselves to learning music; they will just have to work a bit harder.

Finally, the article posits that, “Many scientists believe that language is what makes us human, but the brain is wired to process acoustic systems that are far more complicated than speech.” Could that mean that music is truly what makes us human?