Chapter

Music Instruction and Children’s Intellectual Development: The Educational Context of Music Participation

Eugenia Costa-Giomi

in Music, Health, and Wellbeing

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199586974
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738357 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586974.003.0023
Music Instruction and Children’s Intellectual Development: The Educational Context of Music Participation

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This chapter provides a historical overview of research on the intellectual benefits of music and the most popular interpretations of the research findings. After questioning such interpretations and providing alternative explanations, it describes selected experimental studies that were focused on the causal relationship between music instruction and intellectual prowess. The results of the many studies that observed children for a short period of time (i.e., up to one year), have shown convincing evidence that there are temporary cognitive benefits associated with music instruction. Such benefits include improvements in general IQ, spatial skills, and verbal tasks. Additionally, learning music produces structural and functional changes in the brain. Such changes are associated with improvements in sound processing, motor skill, and melodic and rhythmic discrimination. However, neurological investigations do not support the claim that music makes children smarted as the results have failed to show any neurological changes associated with improvements in IQ.

Keywords: music; intelligence; intellectual prowess; music education; IQ

Chapter.  10242 words. 

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

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