Playing Music Increases Intelligence

Music is beautiful and enriching to our lives. Children who learn music gain confidence in their ability to master a complex skill. But research also shows music does so much more for our brains. Below, we have posted some music and intelligence research to go with this lovely video of our 7th and 8th grade orchestra performance.



From The M.U.S.I.C Foundation: “Music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary to learn math and science.”

From Parenting Science:

“Moreover, brain scans of 9- to 11-year old children have revealed that those kids who play musical instruments have significantly more grey matter volume in both the sensorimotor cortex and the occipital lobes (Schlaug et al 2005).”

“People with music training often outperform their non-musical peers on cognitive tasks (Schellenberg 2006).”

“A new study of older adults–aged 65-80–found a correlation between childhood music training and cognitive performance. The more years a person had spent playing an instrument, the better he performed on tests of word recall, visual (nonverbal) memory, and cognitive flexibility (Hanna-Pladdy and Mackay 2011).”

From Science Daily:   “Researchers have found the first evidence that young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year compared to children who do not receive musical training.”

From the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: “Short-term music training enhances verbal intelligence and executive function. After only 20 days of training, only children in the music group exhibited enhanced performance on a measure of verbal intelligence, with 90% of the sample showing this improvement. These improvements in verbal intelligence were positively correlated with changes in functional brain plasticity during an executive-function task. Our findings demonstrate that transfer of a high-level cognitive skill is possible in early childhood.”

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