I never learned how to play an instrument when I was in school.  And to this day I regret it.

Mental function can decline with age, but research has shown that lifelong music training can offset it.

Researchers gathered a group of adults aged 55-76 and placed them in three groups based on whether or not they received no, little, or moderate musical training as a child. The participants listened to a synthesized speech syllable, and researchers measured electrical activity in their brains with electrodes.

People who received 4-14 years of musical training early in life had the fastest response to speech sound.

Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is significant as it shows that receiving musical training as a child can help prevent cognitive decline later in life.

If I had the patience I’d really like to learn how to play the piano.  I wonder if the old saying applies here.  “You can’t teach an old dog new…”