Youngsters who study music get brain boost

Carolyn Goulding, who made her debut recording at 16, was awarded the Avery Fisher Grant two years later(Photo: Liza Mazzucco)
Carolyn Goulding, who made her debut recording at 16, was awarded the Avery Fisher Grant two years later(Photo: Liza Mazzucco)

“Mozart makes you smarter” was the mantra for many a parent who wanted to give their kids a boost in the smarts department.  Expectant mothers were trying to expose their child to classical music in utero, parents played classical recordings as their children slept, or in the background at home.
A German study shows that, while it’s hard to quantify a cognitive boost brought on by simply listening to classical music, young children who took instrumental music lessons did better than their peers on verbal memory tests.

This is not an isolated study.  Similar research in Canada and Hong Kong shows similar results.

It wasn’t that long ago that the of a youngster carrying an instrument home from school was quite common.  Now, it’s an increasingly rare sight, as school districts cut more and more funding for arts programs in schools.

Maybe it’s time to begin reversing the trend.  Millions of dollars have been thrown at improving test scores.  Maybe, just maybe, if our children spend part of their day with a violin, flute, or clarinet in hand, or possibly sing in a choir, test scores would begin to improve.

Read: More Evidence Music Training Boosts Brainpower (Pacific Standard Magazine)

Watch an interview with a then 16-year-old Caroline Goulding

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