Fascinating piece in yesterday's Guardian that discusses the latest academic research that shows music training plays a key role in the development of a foreign language in its grammar, colloquialisms and vocabulary. According to a recent study cited in the article "when children aged nine and under were taught music for just one hour a week, research concluded that they exhibited a higher ability to learn both the grammar and the pronunciation of foreign languages, compared to their classmates who had learned a different extracurricular activity." How, though, does this knowledge benefit those of us who did not have the benefit of music training from an early age and find language learning a struggle? The answer may, perhaps, be found in looking at the musical qualities of languages e.g. intonation, euphony and pitch and working hard to improve these aspects of learning at an early stage of acquiring a second language. This is particularly apposite for Asian languages such as Chinese where pitch is so fundamental to meaning.