CHILDREN WHO LEARN A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT HAVE IMPROVED VERBAL SKILLS:STUDY

Jan 10, 2013

By Michael Kramer

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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.

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