Sunday, September 24, 2006

Music makes kids smarter

From Science Daily, news from the Oxford journal Brain that there is now conclusive evidence that musical instruction can positively influence the brain development of children. The study meausred brain responses of children aged four to six which were divided into groups that studied and did not study in the Suzuki program. The study concluded that brain response had a measurable improvement in the children that studied music than those that did not:

Analysis of the music tasks showed greater improvement over the year in melody, harmony and rhythm processing in the children studying music compared to those not studying music. General memory capacity also improved more in the children studying music than in those not studying music.

Link to Science Daily article
Link to abstract in Brain
Full article in Brain

Devil's Advocate:

The study in Brain only used kids in Suzuki programs in the "Toronto area", rather than kids in a broad-based spectrum of musical programs in a wider geographical region. Does this study merely prove that there is a high level of Suzuki instruction in Toronto?

In addition, it appears that only 12 children were tested, 6 in Suzuki programs and 6 not, hardly a sizable number of test subjects to be a definitive study.

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