Danish experiment to see how music affects memory

Danish researchers have just started testing a hypothesis that children with musical skills such as rhythm and melody also develop stronger memories.

The story, posted on the Copenhagen Post Online website in September 2016, says the research project, which involves 30,000 school children aged 6-19 from 450 schools across Denmark, is being conducted by the Centre for Music in the Brain at the University of Aarhus in conjunction with the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg (RAMA).

Professor and neuroscientist Peter Vuust is the lead researcher. “We developed this hypothesis,” said Vuust, “following studies of very small groups of adults that showed that the ability to maintain and manage information was better among musicians than non-musicians.”

Participants will initially take a test that looks at the two most basic parts of musicality: rhythm and melody. That will be followed by a memory game that features combinations of numbers. The researchers will then see how many the participants can remember.

Along with the memory test, the researchers will also collect data on their ages, gender, language abilities, musical habits and whether they play or sing. Then after the first test, the participants will complete two weeks of musical training and take the second test to see if the two weeks of training have changed anything.

Copenhagen Post Online: http://cphpost.dk/news/nationwide-experiment-underway-in-denmark-to-see-how-music-effects-memory.html


  1. Very interesting. I’m also reminded of how people with Alzheimer’s and dementia tend to hold onto their musical memories of songs long after they’ve forgotten many fundamental things. It will be neat to see what the researchers learn.


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