According to neuroscientist PhD Anita Collins, Music education and the brain what does it take to make a change? (2014): “Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices. <...> a large number of benefits from music education including improvements in memory, language acquisition, executive function, and brain plasticity. ”
A short video on TED summorize her research demonstrating how making music affect the brain and why it is so efficient for brain development.
More about her work and publications on: http://www.anitacollinsmusic.com/neuroandmused/