disadvantaged young people

Dr Nina Kraus interviewed about the effects of music on the brain

 

Dr. Nina Kraus discusses ongoing work in the Auditory Neuroscience Lab examining the benefits of music making on the brain. See also the following pages on this website:

Music can help close the achievement gap between poor and affluent young people

Active participation in music can rewire young people’s brains

Search under ‘Nina Kraus’ in the search bar at the top of this website for the latest updates from her research.

Active participation in music can rewire young people’s brains

In Harmony students

Photo of In Harmony students – with permission of Dr Nina Kraus

Dr Nina Kraus’s longitudinal study into the effects of music training on disadvantaged young people in Los Angeles , has been looking at the importance of active participation in music.

The research concludes that the level of participation – attendance at classes, practice – affects the changes that result in the brain and the related reading scores.

SOURCE:

Time Magazine: http://time.com/3634995/study-kids-engaged-music-class-for-benefits-northwestern/#

Nonprofit demonstrates music education can produce increases in academic achievement

 SUMMARY:

Education Through Music, based in the Bronx, New York City, works in 28 ‘high-needs’ schools, helping teachers integrate music throughout the curriculum and providing certified music teachers, who see every student at least once a week.

Its researchers found that at schools with the music programme, the students scored 5.4 percentage points higher on state maths exams and 4.6 percentage points higher on English compared to students at similar schools without music education.

MORE BACKGROUND:

In the early 1990’s, Katherine Damkohler, now executive director at Education Through Music, was hired as the principal of a school slated for closure within 12 months. In order to create a wonderful last year for the students, the school introduced one new programme, Education Through Music, which brought music education to all students in the school, as a core subject. Introducing music education into the curriculum immediately brought excitement to the school. Students were more engaged, dedicated to their studies, with higher self-confidence and academic achievement improved overall. Now, Education Through Music uses its research results to back up what it already knows: providing music education in schools serves as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school, and increase self-confidence.

SOURCES:

NY1: http://www.ny1.com/content/news/213057/nonprofit-demonstrates-music-education-can-produce-results-overall/

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katherine-damkohler/using-research-to-ensure-_b_5411371.html

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: Academic achievement
TARGET GROUP: Disadvantaged young people
AGE: Unspecified
MUSIC TYPE: General
TYPE OF STUDY: Organisations’ own evaluation
NOs INVOLVED: 15,000
PERIOD OF STUDY: Ongoing
DATE: 2014
PLACE: United States

Music could help close achievement gap between poor and affluent students

Dr Nina Kraus1

Photo of In Harmony student and researcher – with permission of Dr Nina Kraus

A study by Northwestern University researchers led by Dr Nina Kraus has looked at the impact of music education on at-risk children’s nervous systems and found that music lessons could help them develop language and reading skills.

The researchers spent two summers with children from poor neighbourhoods in Los Angeles who were receiving music lessons through the Harmony Project, a non-profit organisation providing free music education to low income students.

Music method used

First 6 months – group introductory musicianship classes (1 hour x 2 sessions per week) – identifying pitch and rhythm, performing, notation, basic recorder playing.

Following this – four hours a week of group instruction in strings, woodwind, brass (depending on availability of instruments, provided at no cost to participants).

Two years better than one

Students were divided into two groups. The first received two years of music education by the end of the study, the second received one year of lessons. Researchers discovered that children’s brains responded to the music education after two years of lessons. One year was not enough to have a definitive impact.

“Making music can have a profound and lifelong impact on listening and learning.” Dr Nina Krauss. “It is an effective strategy for helping to close the achievement gap … What seems to be happening is that this experience of making music is helping to create a more efficient brain, a brain that is going to be able to help a person learn and communicate, especially through sound.”

The origins of the study

Prior to the study, leaders at Harmony Project had noticed that students participating in their free music lessons were performing much better than other students in the area. More than 90 per cent of high school seniors who participated going on to college, in an area with high school dropout rates of up to 50 per cent.

SOURCES:

Dr Nina Kraus’s website: http://www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu/ 

Huffington Post: Harmony project music study

Pacific Standard: Music lessons enhance brain function of disadvantaged kids

BBC: Music training can improve language and reading

The original research report:

The Journal of Neuroscience: Music Enrichment Programs Improve the Neural Encoding of Speech in At-Risk Children

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
TARGET GROUP: DISADVANTAGED YOUNG PEOPLE
AGE: 6-9 YEARS
MUSIC TYPE: AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 44
PERIOD OF STUDY: 2 YEARS
DATE: 2014
PLACE: United States