Chapter

Music and nonmusical abilities

E. Glenn Schellenberg

in The Child as Musician

Second edition

Published in print September 2015 | ISBN: 9780198744443
Published online November 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780191805776 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744443.003.0008
Music and nonmusical abilities

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  • Developmental Psychology

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This chapter examines whether exposure to music is associated with nonmusical abilities. Such exposure includes music listening and formal training in music. Performance on tests of cognitive abilities can be enhanced after listening to music, but these effects are due to positive changes in emotional state. Effects of listening to background music while engaged in a cognitive activity are poorly understood because multiple factors are involved. Taking music lessons in childhood is associated positively with verbal and visuospatial abilities, as well as with memory and IQ. Although experimental studies indicate that music lessons can cause small increases in cognitive abilities, the large associations observed in real-world contexts must be attributable, at least in part, to pre-existing differences in music aptitude, general cognitive abilities, and/or personality.

Keywords: music lessons; music training; music aptitude; IQ; personality; intelligence; cognition; personality

Chapter.  16828 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis ; Developmental Psychology

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