Ingo Roden

Music lessons may regulate children’s aggressive behaviour

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

Image from Pixabay, reproduced under Creative Commons CC0.

Enrolling children in music lessons teaches them how to control the tendency to become aggressive according to a newly-published study from Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany.

The researchers, led by psychologist Ingo Roden, investigated the assumption that extended music lessons reduce stress responses and increase wellbeing in primary school children.

For 18 months, 14 children received extra weekly training of 45 minutes on musical instruments of their choice, in addition to the regular school music curriculum. While the other 20 children received 45-minute natural science lessons.

The research centred around the ‘Point Subtraction Aggression Game’. It’s a video game where you and your opponent attempt to press a button as soon as a football appears on the screen. The winner of each round gets 50 points, and is allowed to decrease his or her opponent’s score by anywhere from zero to 100 points.

All the children played the video game at the beginning and at the end of the 18-month study, and in order to determine each child’s level of “provoked reactive aggressive behaviour,” the researchers noted how many points they subtracted from their opponents.

The study found that the budding scientists were more likely to respond to provocation with aggression by increasing the number of points deducted from their opponents, whereas the young musicians showed no significant change.

While this is a small, preliminary study, the results would suggest that music training positively modulates reactive aggressive behaviour in primary school children.

SOURCES:
Pacific Standard: https://psmag.com/heres-evidence-that-music-training-dampens-young-kids-aggressive-behavior-b4f853502cc4#.32egotpod
Science Direct: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959475216300676
ISI DL: http://isi-dl.com/item/21941

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: REDUCED STRESS AND IMPROVED WELLBEING
TARGET GROUP: CHILDREN
AGE: 7-8 YEARS-OLD
MUSIC TYPE: GENERAL
TYPE OF STUDY: ACADEMIC RESEARCH
NOs INVOLVED: 34
PERIOD OF STUDY: 18 MONTHS
DATE: 2015
PLACE: GERMANY

Instrumental music training boosts verbal memory

SUMMARY

A study led by Ingo Roden of Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany found that young children who took instrumental music lessons did better than their peers on verbal memory tests.

This builds on research conducted in Canada in 2011 (http://www.psmag.com/education/music-training-enhances-childrens-verbal-intelligence-36701/) and Hong Kong in 1998 and 2003 (http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/neu/17/3/439/).

SOURCE:

Pacific-Standard: http://www.psmag.com/blogs/news-blog/more-evidence-music-training-boosts-brainpower-51407/

 

DETAILS:

BENEFIT: Verbal memory
TARGET GROUP: Young people
AGE: 7-8 years
MUSIC TYPE: General
TYPE OF STUDY: Academic research
NOs INVOLVED: 73
PERIOD OF STUDY: 1 year 6 months
DATE: 2013
PLACE: Germany