Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Time Invested In Practicing Pays Off For Young Musicians, Research Shows

Date:
November 5, 2008
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
A new study has found that children who study a musical instrument for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training -- not only in tests of auditory discrimination and finger dexterity (skills honed by the study of a musical instrument), but also on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion (skills not normally associated with music).

Children who study a musical instrument for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training, a new study has found.
Credit: iStockphoto/Alex Potemkin

A Harvard-based study has found that children who study a musical instrument for at least three years outperform children with no instrumental training—not only in tests of auditory discrimination and finger dexterity (skills honed by the study of a musical instrument), but also on tests measuring verbal ability and visual pattern completion (skills not normally associated with music).

The study, published October 29 in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, was led by Drs. Gottfried Schlaug and Ellen Winne.

A total of 41 eight- to eleven-year-olds who had studied either piano or a string instrument for a minimum of three years were compared to 18 children who had no instrumental training. Children in both groups spent 30-40 minutes per week in general music classes at school, but those in the instrumental group also received private lessons learning an instrument (averaging 45 minutes per week) and spent additional time practicing at home.

While it is no surprise that the young musicians scored significantly higher than those in the control group on two skills closely related to their music training (auditory discrimination and finger dexterity), the more surprising result was that they also scored higher in two skills that appear unrelated to music—verbal ability (as measured by a vocabulary IQ test) and visual pattern completion (as measured by the Raven's Progressive Matrices). And furthermore, the longer and more intensely the child had studied his or her instrument, the better he or she scored on these tests.

Studying an instrument thus seems to bring benefits in areas beyond those that are specifically targeted by music instruction, but that is not the end of the story. Although this research sheds light on the question of whether connections between music and other, unrelated skills do exist, more studies examining the causal relationships between instrumental music training, practice intensity, and cognitive enhancements are needed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Forgeard M, Winner E, Norton A, Schlaug G. Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning. PLoS ONE, 2008; 3 (10): e3566 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003566

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Time Invested In Practicing Pays Off For Young Musicians, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081104132916.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2008, November 5). Time Invested In Practicing Pays Off For Young Musicians, Research Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081104132916.htm
Public Library of Science. "Time Invested In Practicing Pays Off For Young Musicians, Research Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081104132916.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Do We Get Nicer With Age?

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A recent report claims personality can change over time as we age, and usually that means becoming nicer and more emotionally stable. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins