Music Lessons Make Kids Smarter
Structured music lessons significantly enhance children’s cognitive abilities, including language-based reasoning, short-term memory and planning, while reducing inhibition, leading to improved academic performance, report researchers from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In the study, 147 Dutch 6-year-olds were divided into music, visual arts and control groups, and monitored for two-and-a-half years. The children in the music group sang, listened to music and played an instrument of their choice one to two hours a week during regular classroom time. Compared to the control group, they demonstrated improved verbal IQ and reasoning skills, and a greater ability to plan, organize and complete tasks, as well as improved academic achievement. Children given structured visual arts lessons showed improvements in visual and spatial memory compared to the control group.