Benefits of music education

Music lessons can help children to concentrate

Brass class 1

Researchers at the Dutch-speaking university, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Brussels, Belgium have discovered that music lessons can help children to concentrate.

Sixty-three 9-12-year-olds took part in the research, and the results showed that the group of 32 children who had been having regular music lessons since the age of five displayed ‘enhanced cognitive inhibitory control’ compared to the 31 in the non-music lesson group. ‘Cognitive inhibition’ refers to our ability to tune out irrelevant information and focus our attention on what we’re doing.

To measure inhibitory control, all of the children completed a task where they were asked to press a certain key when a specific colour appeared on a computer screen in front of them. The children were scored on whether they pushed the correct buttons, and how long it took them to respond.

The researchers found that the young musicians performed significantly better than the non-musicians, and believe this might be related to music training because playing a musical instrument requires high levels of selective attention.

SOURCES:
Pacific Standard: https://psmag.com/another-brain-benefit-of-music-lessons-4e981ead59ff#.j3a1lyb1p
Musicae Scientiae: http://msx.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/06/14/1029864916655477.abstract

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: IMPROVED CONCENTRATION
TARGET GROUP: CHILDREN
AGE: 9-12 YEARS OLD
MUSIC TYPE: SUZUKI METHOD
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 63
PERIOD OF STUDY: UNKNOWN
DATE: 2015
PLACE: BELGIUM

U.S music merchants charity supports music education research

NAMM ShowResearch supported by U.S charity the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation – which is funded by NAMM Members through trade association activities and private donations –
is expanding understanding about the impact of music making and music education, the importance of music at every stage of life, and relationships between music and physical and emotional wellness. 

The NAMM Foundation provides funding for research projects including work by neurobiologist Dr Nina Kraus, of the Auditory Neuroscience Lab, Northwestern University, Illinois, which offers insight into how musical experience affects brain function across the lifespan.

They’ve also created a useful summary of the benefits of music education being explored through this research.

SOURCES:
NAMM Foundation: https://www.nammfoundation.org/what-we-do/music-research

Music lessons enhance IQ while drama increases social skills

SUMMARY:

This research was conducted by Glen Schellenberg at the University of Toronto, Canada. The researchers randomly assigned 144 six year old Canadian children to one of four groups: one received music tuition for the keyboard, another got voice coaching using the Kodaly method, and (by way of contrast) two control groups: one that got drama lessons and a final group that received no tuition at all. They found that after the music lessons (whether voice or keyboard) children increased their IQ when compared with those in the drama and control groups. They concede that ‘the effect was relatively small’. They also found that children in the drama group improved their aptitude for social behavior in a way that was not detectible in the music or control group.

SOURCE:

CultureCase: http://www.culturecase.org/research/2014/04/music-lessons-enhance-iq-while-drama-increases-social-skills/

Psychological Science, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 511-514 http://pss.sagepub.com/content/15/8/511

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: Increased IQ
TARGET GROUP: Children
AGE: 6 years
MUSIC TYPE: Keyboard, singing
TYPE OF STUDY: Academic research
NOs INVOLVED: 144
PERIOD OF STUDY: 36 weeks
DATE: 2004
PLACE: Canada

 

Business leaders do their jobs better by applying lessons from the performing art

In January 2014, Ruth Blatt posted an article on the Forbes website, reporting that a career in the performing arts is great preparation for a career in business. Former actors, artists and musicians populate boardrooms across the country. And they are touting the benefits of their artistic training.

SOURCE:

Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ruthblatt/2014/01/22/these-business-leaders-do-their-jobs-better-by-applying-lessons-from-music/

Michelle Obama supports music education

Michelle ObamaIn July 2014, the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, gave the keynote speech at a Grammy Museum event in Los Angeles to salute teachers who use music in innovative ways as part of their lessons. She stressed that music and other forms of art often connect with students and enhance their interest in core subjects such as maths, science and history, and said: “For so many young people, arts education is the only reason they get up out of bed in the morning.” The event was held to raise money and awareness of the Grammy Museum’s education efforts which aim to bridge the gap left by previous cuts in funding and provision.

SOURCE:

Los Angeles Times: http://lat.ms/1jVOlzm

Honing the mind – schools should add music classes, not cut them

A short article in Scientific American says that neuroscience research is proving the benefits of music education to young people’s wider learning, and that US schools should be adding music classes, not cutting them.

SOURCES:

Scientific American:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=hearing-the-music-honing 

The benefits of music education – overview of neuroscience research

The Royal Conservatory of Music, Ontario, Canada, has published an informative booklet about the benefits of music education, including interviews with researchers, diagrams, and information about research sources.

SOURCES:

https://www.rcmusic.ca/sites/default/files/files/RCM_MusicEducationBenefits.pdf

 

Linking music with other learning areas

Michael Griffin, author of ‘Learning Strategies for Musical Success’ has explored the connections between music and other Gardner-listed multiple intelligences. He believes that life is interdisciplinary and multisensory, and the richer the brain diet stimulated by the senses, the more complex the brain becomes. Learning material presented with pictures and sound provides an emotional attachment that makes it easier to remember and more enjoyable to learn. The most effective memory-building techniques are based on the principle of association, and the strongest associations are emotional.

SOURCE:

Michael Griffin: http://mdgriffin63.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/linking-music-with-other-learning-areas/