Music For Intelligence ?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Hi Guyz, how are u doin? Not like usually, i will post a slightly different topic today. A little though one in fact. However this is such a great article i've found across the web. And believe me, its worth to read !

Music for Intelligence.
Is That Possible? How can that be?
Brain development is still incomplete at birth. Early experiences that stimulate the brain are involved in enhancing its neural growth. A child's brain develops its full potential with exposure to enriching experiences in early childhood. These stimuli received during the early parts of childhood are thus crucial to brain growth and connections made in nerve cell networks. Studies indicate that early exposure to musical training helps a child's brain reach its potential by generating neural connections utilized in abstract reasoning.

The reasoning skills required for a test in spatial reasoning are the same ones children use when they listen to music. Children use these reasoning skills to order the notes in their brain to form the melodies. Also, some concepts of math must be understood in order to understand music. Experts speculate that listening to music exercises the same parts of the brain that handle mathematics, logic, and higher level reasoning.

Below are a few studies reinforcing the correlation between music and intelligence.

Music vs. Computers

In 1997 a study involving three groups of preschoolers was conducted to determine the effect of music versus computer training on early childhood development. One group received private piano/keyboard training and singing lessons. A second group received computer training, and a third/control group did not receive any special training. The group that received the piano/keyboard training scored 34% higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than either of the other two groups. These results suggest that music enhances certain higher brain functions, particularly abstract reasoning skills, required in math and science.

Naming Body Parts

The use of music in training four and five year old children yielded the highest improvement in the ability to name body parts. A control group did not receive any training, a second group received verbal instructions, and a third group received verbal instructions plus acting out movements. The final group had a song coordinated with the verbal instructions and a dance coordinated with the acting out movements. Although the three experimental groups displayed an increase in their ability to name body parts the music group exhibited the highest degree of improvement.

Kodaly Training

First grade students received extensive Kodaly training for seven months. Kodaly training involves the use of folk songs and emphasis on melodic and rhythmic elements. At the end of seven months the experimental group had higher reading scores than the control group, which did not receive any special treatment. Not only did the seven month instruction increase reading scores, but continued musical training proved to be beneficial. The experimental group continued to show higher reading scores with continued training.

SAT scores

Data reveals a correlation between arts education, including music, and SAT scores. Students who were involved in arts education achieved higher SAT scores. The longer students were involved in arts education, the higher the increase in SAT scores. This study also correlated arts education with higher scores in standardized tests, reading, English, history, citizenship, and geography. An individual's socioeconomic status plays a role in the attainment of arts education. The higher an individual's socioeconomic status, the greater the likelihood of participation in arts education. To account for the advantage given by a relatively higher socioeconomic status, the same studies were done with a focus on students with a relatively lower socioeconomic status. The results indicated that students with a relatively lower socioeconomic status, that were exposed to arts education, had an advantage over those students without any arts education which was proportionally equal to the students with a relatively higher socioeconomic status and exposure to arts education.


Music exposure affects older students as well. Three groups of college students were exposed to either Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos, K448, a relaxation tape, or silence. The group exposed to the Mozart piece was the only group to achieve an increase on the spatial IQ test. Further studies revealed that neither dance music nor taped short stories produced an increase in spatial IQ similar to the Mozart piece. The increase in spatial IQ appears to be related to some unique aspects of the Mozart piece rather than music in general. The experimenters chose the piece because they felt its musical structure facilitated cognitive processing in the brain and music lacking sufficient complexity would result in interference with abstract reasoning.

Music may not only be related to intelligence by its stimulation of the brain, but it may also increase intelligence by the type of attitudes, interests, and discipline it fosters in children. Some believe that music gives children the self-confidence to achieve and that self-confidence spreads to other areas of education outside of music. With the increase of self-confidence, children may change their attitudes and aspirations toward academics. Music is also believed to increase interest in academic learning. One study revealed that when children were exposed to traditional Japanese and Chinese music, or other slow pieces, and paired with movements, such as Yoga and Tai chi, children became calmer and were better able to focus. This calming effect allows children to have a greater focus on learning. Music also improves students' listening skills. Furthermore, discipline required to learn and play music is beneficial to academic achievement.

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    Salam Kenal .....

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