Jan 10, 2013
By Michael Kramer
Kids who study music – get better with words.
That’s the suggestion of a new study from Germany, which confirms research done in Canada and Hong Kong. It implies that training on a musical instrument improves the verbal memory of children.
The 18-month study came from researchers at Ossietzky University in Germany where 7 and 8-year-old children were studied .
25 of the boys and girls got special music training beyond the basic school curriculum and were instructed to practice regularly at home.
Another 25 kids were given enhanced education in math and and general studies – and 23 additional youngsters received no added instruction beyond the basic school curriculum.
Researchers say children in the music group showed a greater increase on every measure of verbal memory than the other kids : maybe because playing music requires continued monitoring of chunks of information combined into meaningful melodic gestures and phrases.
There’s an obvious parallel between that process and the way clusters of syllables combine in our brains to form words.
The study is reported online in the Pacific Standard magazine.