Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Music and learning: piano lessons and reading skills

Being taught music could improve people's reading skills according to research by psychologists at Long Island University, in the U.S. The study of 103 children in two primary schools compared 46 in one school who had already been learning the piano for a year and 57 in another school who did not have formal music lessons. Both the schools taught formal literacy programmes, were in the same area and had pupils from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Both groups had their reading levels assessed at the beginning and end of the school year. The results at the end of the year showed that the music-learning group had a significantly better vocabulary and verbal-sequencing scores than the other group. However, the children learning music had already had two years of lessons before the study started so why were their reading skills not better than the other group then? The authors of the study thought that this might be because:

the tests were first taken after the long summer break and after a summer without music lessons the benefits had worn off for the children in this group

the children in the 'music' group had had two years of tuition; maybe three years are needed before it has any effect on reading skills

the study took place around the age of 7 so maybe there are specific developments in children's brains around this age which are influenced by learning music

You can find out more about this research at

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090316075843.htm

8 comments:

P.A. said...

Great blog.
Playing piano truly enhances our brain to work more efficiently.

John Gale said...

Thanks for your comment. I'm afraid I can't play any musical instrument but I love classical music. Where there's Handel there's hope I always say to myself.
Best Wishes,
John

Rachael said...

It makes sense. It teaches kids to concentrate. When it is fun and they are concentrating is so important!! This allows them how to concentrate so when the subject isn't as fun - they still have the skill of concentrating.

I picked up an online resource that truly saved my son from a lot - I feel. He was interested in piano so I quickly looked online for a guide. I was able to download it immediately - and he was playing within a couple hours - not mozart but he didn't care!! It was great...here is the info if interested...

“Learn the Piano More Quickly” by Sebastian Mitchell and I found it here: http://www.pianoaccelerator.com/

Thanks!

John Gale said...

Thanks for your comment Rachael. One variable that I don't know whether they allowed for in the study is that maybe parents who are more involved with and commited to their children (as long as they can afford to do so of course) might be more inclined to give them the chance to learn a musical instrument than other parents. I'm not sure this is something that is that easy to measure in terms of parental education, socioeconomic background etc but it could well be a factor.
Best Wishes,
John

music business said...

the song created in piano has a great effect...it is really relaxing...

- ledz -

Frora Bosh said...

Hey nice post -I also agree with that music improves the reading skills it also gives confidence to children who are not able to pronounce the word correctly and clearly.

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