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Music Develops The Child Brain
Music has the ability to train our brain for a higher level of thinking – the kind of thinking for solving problems, comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences between objects, analyzing, reaching a conclusion, synthesizing and evaluating information.
In recent research, it has been found that music can help in developing a person’s spatio-temporal reasoning ability. Spatio-temporal reasoning is the ability to perceive the visual world accurately and form mental images of objects. It is the mental ability to see in highly detailed images and recognize, compare and find relationships between the patterns and details on an object. The temporal element involves a child’s ability to think ahead.
In learning music, one must be able to play a note, then a series of notes, then a series of chords, and be able to look ahead at the music and determine where and what will be played next.
Many studies and experiments have been done to prove the power of music on our brain. Below is the finding in some recent years research:
Investigation and Finding 1:
In 1994, Dr. Gordon Shaw and Frances Rauscher, who are scientists at the University of California at Irvine, conducted an experiment to discover the connection between spatial reasoning and music. They divided seventy beautiful college students into three groups. Each group was given a cutting and folding task.
The first group was given the opportunity to listen to ten minutes of Mozart’s Sonata in D for Two Pianos, K. 488. The second group heard ten minutes of minimalist (Music with Changing Parts by Philip Glass) and rhythmically repetitive music (C- by Ian Rich). Level Productions mix of Mortal Stomp and Carry Me Through). The third was the control group where the students did not listen to any music.
The result was – there was no significant occurrence with the second and third group. However, the students in the first group who listened to Mozart’s music experienced an increase in their spatial IQ from eight to nine points in just ten minutes! Although the effect was temporary, the scientists believed that a particular organization of the elements in the music caused the improvement in space-time reasoning. This phenomenon is now commonly known as the “Mozart Effect”.
Research and Finding 2:
After the above experiment, which showed that listening to music, it could lead to an increase in spatio-temporal reasoning, scientists began to wonder if the effect could be extended by studying a musical instrument.
To find out the result, the scientists conducted a test on thirty-three three-year-old preschool children in Los Angeles. They choose three-year-old children because the cortices of their brains have still matured and any effect of music education will be most observed compared to a matured brain.
The children were divided into two groups. The first group had 19 children who received eight months of keyboard and singing lessons. The remaining 14 children belonged to the control group that did not receive any training. For the first group, their training consisted of a weekly ten to fifteen minute private keyboard lesson, daily practice periods and daily thirty minute singing.
The children were tested eight months later. They were required to complete five tasks to test their spatial reasoning:
– arrange puzzle pieces to form a complete picture
– matching of an illustrated pattern with flat, two-color blocks
– place correct colored pegs in holes under a series of pictured animals
– perform a geometric drawing task
– describing what was “wrong” or “stupid” about a picture.
And here are the results:
The spatio-temporal reasoning of the children in the control group increases by only 6 percent. However, children from the group that received musical training showed a great improvement in their spatial-temporal reasoning by 46 percent!
Research and Finding 3:
To confirm the results and finding in the above experiment, the scientists conducted another test. This time they took another group of seventy-eight preschoolers and split into four groups:
– The first group consisted of thirty-four students who received private daily piano lessons
– The second group consisted of twenty students. The children in this group received ten minutes of private computer training each day.
– The third group had 12 students who received training in singing
– The last group was a control group, where the children did not attend any lesson.
The children were tested six months later and the results were:
Children in the first group had the most dramatic improvement in spatio-temporal reasoning – a 34 percent increase in efficiency!
Research and Finding 4:
In 1998, the scientists conducted another experiment to discover how a computer mathematics game called “Spatial-Temporal Animation Reasoning (STAR) coupled with either piano lessons or English-language training affected student performance in mathematics.
This experiment was conducted over a 4 month period and the subjects were 170 second grade students from an elementary school in Los Angeles.
The children were divided into 3 groups:
– Group 1 consisted of children who studied the piano keyboard and the math video game
– Group 2 consisted of children who received English language training and studied the math video game
– Group 3 was the control group that did not receive any training.
After four months, a test was done and the results were:
Children in Group 1 and 2 who received training in the computer game showed a 100 percent improvement in their math skills compared to the control group. Also, the students who received piano keyboard training along with the math video game did 27 percent better on questions related to fractions and proportion math than those who received English language training and the math video game. And finally, the group’s teachers also reported that the children who studied piano keyboard boarding showed better attention and concentration skills!
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