Posts Tagged ‘music classes’
If your child could use a boost with his reading skills, sign him up for music class.
Research shows that kids who participate in multi-year music instruction that grows increasingly more complex out-perform their non-musically trained counterparts in reading and language skills. While the idea that music makes you smarter is nothing new, a recent Long Island University study confirms this long-held notion and investigates how using music can enhance academic performance.
Researchers set out to compare vocabulary and verbal sequencing, critical reading subsets, in two sets of second graders – one exposed to music instruction and one not. They identified two schools located in the same geographic area with similar demographic characteristics and comprehensive literary programs so the groups were as similar as possible. Only, children from one school were given formal piano lessons during the three-year study, and students attending the second school had never received school-taught or outside music lessons of any kind.
Each participant was assessed both before and after the study. And wouldn’t you know it; when they completed fourth grade, children in the music group boasted significantly higher scores in both vocabulary and verbal sequencing than their peers.
Since we interpret music and language in similar ways, it stands to reason that there’s some overlap in how our brains process these things; so learning music can actually enhance linguistic capacity. These findings prove just how much music matters. But you don’t have to trust the experts. Enroll your child in music lessons, and the proof could be just a report card away.
We know all about how music boosts linguistic ability in students, but a new study proves that even infants too young to speak can benefit from musical training.
Canadian researchers conducted a six-month study of two sets of one-year-olds that had similar communication and social development. Both groups attended music classes during the study, and neither had previously participated in baby music instruction. One group’s class consisted of the infants visiting various toy stations as “Baby Einstein” played in the background. The other group’s instruction involved interactive music making; these infants learned songs, nursery rhymes, and lullabies, and parents and infants worked together playing percussion instruments and singing songs.
At the end of the six-month study, babies in the more interactive classes had developed larger and/or earlier brain responses to musical tones than those in the less interactive group. They also showed a bias to hearing music played in key, as opposed to toddlers in the passive listening group, which showed no preference between melodies played in key versus songs with out-of-key notes thrown in.
But the benefits from interactive lessons weren’t all music related. Babies from the interactive group were also better communicators – waving goodbye or pointing at far away objects. And socially, this group smiled more, was easier to comfort, and was more adaptable during stressful situations.
So, while playing music at home provides great exposure for infants, get the maximum benefit by going a step further. Sing songs, play interactive musical games with little ones, and sign them up for music lessons. If toddlers could talk, they’d thank you.