Piano Street's Classical Piano News

- your guide to the classical piano world.

Blog home > Single post view

Piano Lessons Can Help Children Improve Reading Skills

Children exposed to a multi-year programme of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers, according to a study published recently in the journal Psychology of Music, published by SAGE.
http://pom.sagepub.com/cgi/rapidpdf/0305735608097248v1

According to authors Joseph M Piro and Camilo Ortiz from Long Island University, USA, data from this study will help to clarify the role of music study on cognition and shed light on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy.

Studying children the two US elementary schools, one of which routinely trained children in music and one that did not, Piro and Ortiz aimed to investigate the hypothesis that children who have received keyboard instruction as part of a music curriculum increasing in difficulty over successive years would demonstrate significantly better performance on measures of vocabulary and verbal sequencing than students who did not receive keyboard instruction.

Several studies have reported positive associations between music education and increased abilities in non-musical (eg, linguistic, mathematical, and spatial) domains in children. The authors say there are similarities in the way that individuals interpret music and language and “because neural response to music is a widely distributed system within the brain…. it would not be unreasonable to expect that some processing networks for music and language behaviors, namely reading, located in both hemispheres of the brain would overlap.”

Abstract:

A number of studies have reported positive associations between music experience and increased abilities in non-musical (e.g., linguistic, mathematical, and spatial) domains in children. These transfer effects continue to be probed using a variety of experimental designs. The major aim of this quasi-experimental study was to examine the effects of a scaffolded music instruction program on the vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills of two cohorts of second-grade students. One group (n = 46) studied piano formally for a period of three consecutive years as part of a comprehensive instructional intervention program. The second group (n = 57) had no exposure to music lessons, either in school programs or private study. Both groups were assessed on two subtests from the Structure of Intellect (SOI) measure. Results revealed that the experimental group had significantly better vocabulary and verbal sequencing scores at post-test than did the control group. Data from this study will help to clarify the role of music study on cognition and shed light on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy.

Article from Science Daily


/patrick

  1. R. Marquez Says:

    This is a fascinating study and I strongly believe in the findings. One student of mine in particular has raised his grades tremendously after dedicating time to piano lessons. He is much more focused, motivated, and confident in his work and has recently made the honor roll. His parents have noticed a change in him as well since beginning lessons. I have heard and seen that piano lessons can improve school performance, but it’s very nice to see an actual study that validates it.

  2. Vonda Look Says:

    I totally agree that music education improves abilities in academics. I honestly believe that music is one of the most important subjects for children to begin studying and the earlier, the better.

  3. bri bri Says:

    I believe this is true because I speak from experience. I took piano lessons and my grades were up there, until my mom stopped me and my grades kinda went back down, no matter how hard I worked! I will try to convince her to let me have lessons this summer.

  4. bendpianolessons Says:

    It’s really interesting how piano lessons can provide advantages outside the musical arena. Did you see this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18147-noisy-parties-no-problem-for-musical-brains.html

  5. Innesa Says:

    Great post!. I agree that music lessons improves a child’s cognitive development.

  6. Piano-Education Says:

    Yes, totally agree that music education helps a child in increased abilities in non-musical areas. This article only reinforces that findings.

  7. Piano Says:

    Yes, indeed, interesting study!
    I’ve already known and agreed that music can increase abilities in non-musical domains. What I didn’t know was that piano instruction especially is so important. Furthermore, I strongly believe that music should be a main subject in and out of schools.

  8. Chijioke Says:

    I totally agree with this. In fact, back in 2007, I wrote an essay titled: “The Awesome Character of a Pianist.” In that article, I highlighted the many benefits that come from learning the piano – its effects on one’s character and intelligence. I used myself as an example, comparing how I was before and after learning the piano. There was a great difference. I think parents should be encouraged to allow their children to learn how to play the piano. Another unique virtue children learn while playing the piano is DISCIPLINE.

Leave a comment

 
     





Privacy Policy | FAQ | Contact