Making music has a major impact on language skills – Professor Susan Hallam

A recent paper by Professor Susan Hallam from the UCL Institute of Education (November 2017), concludes that making music has a major impact on the development of language skills among children and young people.

In ‘The impact of making music on aural perception and language skills: a research synthesis’, Professor Hallam explores the way that music and language are processed; addresses the relative importance of genetics versus length of time committed to, and spent, making music; sets out the OPERA hypothesis (Overlap, Precision, Emotions, Repetition, Attention); critically evaluates research comparing musicians with non-musicians; and presents detailed accounts of intervention studies with children and those from deprived backgrounds, taking account of the importance of the nature of the musical training.

Professor Hallam concludes: “Overall, the evidence is overwhelming that actively making music plays a major role in developing aural perceptual processing systems. These facilitate the encoding and identification of speech sounds and patterns, which, in turn, enhance language skills. The earlier the exposure to active participation in music-making, and the greater the length of that participation, the greater the impact.”

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0, and edited.

SOURCES:

London Review of Education: https://www.ucl-ioe-press.com/journals/london-review-of-education/
Ingenta Connect (paper can be downloaded from here): http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ioep/clre/2017/00000015/00000003/art00005;jsessionid=25qj57p86livu.x-ic-live-03

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: AURAL PERCEPTION AND LANGUAGE SKILLS
TARGET GROUP: CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
AGE: 0-18 YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: SYNTHESIS OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: UNKNOWN
PERIOD OF STUDY: N/A
DATE: 2017
PLACE: UK

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