Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mozart in the news!

There is no question that music lessons for young children give them an undeniable advantage over peers who have not studied an instrument and the basics of music making, but do you know how much research has been done that bears this out? The article excerpted below is from London's "The Telegraph" from September 9th of 2006. Enjoy!

Researchers claim to have found the first evidence of musical training being linked to greater attention skills.

After a year, musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, mathematics and IQ, reports a Canadian team.
The researchers add that their results will be welcomed by teachers and parents who feel that music should be part of the pre-school and primary school curriculum.
The findings, which are backed by brain scans, are published today in the journal Brain by McMaster University's Institute for Music and the Mind in Hamilton, Ontario, and the Rotman Research Institute of the University of Toronto.
"While the greater improvement that we found in musical tasks is not surprising after one year of music lessons, greater improvement on a non-musical memory task in children taking music lessons is very interesting," said Prof Laurel Trainor, of the McMaster Institute "Furthermore, our research shows that this occurs in children as young as four years of age."
Prof Trainor, who led the study with Takako Fujioka, compared 12 children aged four to six years over the course of a year: six of the children (five boys, one girl) had just started a Suzuki music school; the other six (four boys, two girls) had no music lessons outside school.
The researchers chose the Suzuki method to ensure the children were all trained in the same way, were not selected according to their initial musical talent, and had similar family support.

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