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What's Going On In There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life
- By Lise Eliot, Ph.D
Can Music Make Your Child Smarter?
When you were a child, did your mother make you taking music lessons that you always
hated and was finding all ways to avoid it? Without knowingly, your mother's insistence
that you practice your musical instrument an hour a day actually made you smarter!
Recent studies had shown that your mother was probably right to make you stick to your
piano or violin. Here are some proves:
Music lessons have shown to improve a child's performance in school. After eight months of
keyboard lessons, preschoolers tested showed a 46% boost in their spatial IQ, which is
crucial for higher brain functions
such as complex mathematics and science that draw heavily upon spatial-temporal reasoning.
Which is the ability to visualize ratios, fractions and proportions. A good understanding
of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to advanced math critical in high-tech
- Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine
Mozart's Piano Sonata K448 was found to significantly
increase spatial scores of college students on IQ tests when the Sonata was listened to
for 10 minutes, dubbed
the "Mozart Effect." Former choral conductor Don Campbell writes 'The Mozart Effect', an
instant bestseller that
proposes classical music can help infants reach and think better. The book launched a stampede
At the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in
Los Angeles, the researchers presented magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) of the brains
of 32 right-handed musicians. These were contrasted with MRI-brain scans of 24 other right-handed
men who did not play instruments.
The musicians overall showed a 5 percent increase in the size of the cerebellum -- an area of
the brain involved in fine motor coordination.
Students with coursework/experience in music performance
scored an average of 52 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 36 points higher
on the math portion of the SAT than students with no coursework or experience in the arts.
Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers. The College Board. Compiled by MENC. 1995
Researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong gave
a series of verbal memory tests to 30 female students who had
had at least 6 years of music lessons before age 12, and 30 who had had no music
training. In one test, for example, the students listened to a list of 16 words, and were then
asked to recall as many as possible. "We found that adults with music training learned
significantly more words than those without any music training," the researchers, Agnes S. Chan
and colleagues, write. "Music training in childhood may therefore have long-term positive
effects on verbal memory."
A Rockefeller Foundation study stated that music majors
have the highest rate of 66.7 percent of admittance to medical school.
The very best engineers and technical designers in the
Silicon Valley a
re, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.
Having these facts show that music can make your child smarter. Go ahead and expose your child to
music. Children who study and love music will be happier and will do better in school and