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The IQ in Music – Do Music Lessons For Your Kids Make Them Smarter?
Just listening to classical music – the so-called ‘Mozart effect’ – does not make you smarter. I have presented the basis for this conclusion elsewhere. In this article we look at the question, “Does music education make children smarter? Does music education have ‘material benefits’ that extend to without music? better at reasoning, math and language comprehension?” How this question is answered is as interesting as the answer turns out to be.
Why is this question interesting?
This is an answer. Children do not have free time to invest in further education, and parents must choose careers for their children. If the choice is between, for example, ballet and music lessons, and music is known to increase intelligence but not ballet, this may be because how is it enough to choose music over ballet. Ballet may be good for reasons that music may not be – for motor coordination, for example – but now the parent has a solid basis for choice. .
How can we not answer the question: Does music lessons improve IQ?
The question ‘do music lessons make children smarter?’ not something that can be answered by common sense and the truth of personal experience. It may be tempting to reason from your observation that all the children you know who study music are doing well in school, these tips should help them improve their skills intelligence and achievement in school. But this decision is illegal. Why not? Because it just seems that they both do well in school and take music because they are from the social classes where the average IQ is higher to begin with. Children with high IQs are more likely than other children to learn music because the parents are better educated and the parents are more likely to give music lessons to their children – it is part of the culture of the more educated and useful to provide music lessons. Not all parents are educated and resourceful, but many of them are. But this does not necessarily mean that teaching music has an impact on children’s intelligence. Many parents who have education and values also buy some kind of clothes for their children, but the clothes that children wear does not make them more intelligent.
So we can’t go on to test whether music education improves IQ like this.
How can we answer the question: Does music lessons improve IQ?
To find out the answer to this question we must do an experiment. We should set things up like this: take a bunch of kids from different backgrounds and randomly assign (from a coin toss) half of these kids to music lessons for a year, and half for some extracurricular activities. years – for example ballet, or football. We tested two groups of children on an IQ test before the lessons, and then again after the lessons, and to see if there was a difference between the two groups. If there is a difference – if people who have studied music at the average score on the IQ test – we know that it is not because of family background (because family history is mixed equally between the two groups). If we find a difference we will also have more confidence that the intellectual progress is specific to music and not to other subjects (such as music, drama, basketball , karate or soccer). In essence, by doing a ‘significant test’ we make sure that we are pointing out the effect of music lessons on intelligence.
Schellenberg’s main experiment
In 2004 someone has finally done this experiment: Glenn Schellenberg from the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto. It is placed in a village, a community newspaper, free, educational every week for 6 years for a year. 144 children were assigned to one of four different groups, with 36 children in each group. Group 1 was given keyboard lessons, Group 2 was given vocal/singing lessons, Group 3 was given acting lessons, and Group 4 had no additional lessons. The teachers are trained, professional women. Children in each group took an intelligence test called the WISC-III both before and after the school year. The WISC-III is the most comprehensive and widely used assessment of children. All four groups had the same average IQ level at the beginning of the experiment. The children in each group differ in their intelligence, but the average intelligence of each group is the same. This is an important fact for us to draw conclusions about the impact of different types of education.
And what did Schellenberg discover? Does music education increase IQ?
The first interesting finding is that all four groups of children showed an increase in IQ after the year was increased, even the group that did not learn anything. What explains the increase in IQ for all children? An increase in IQ is known to be a natural consequence of entering education. Since all of these children started school at the time of the experiment, it is easy to explain this increase in IQ due to the ease of attending school.
But – and this is important – both music groups are well received greater increase in IQ than the drama and ‘no lesson’ groups. We can conclude from this data that music education, but not drama lessons, leads to intellectual gains in addition to the benefits of going to school. The type of music lesson doesn’t matter (like keyboard or voice); both groups had the same average IQ score after one year of study. And both music groups had 3 higher IQ scores compared to the drama and n0-show groups that did not differ from each other in their IQ scores.
The relative superiority of IQ in the music group was not in any specific domain of intelligence – such as spatial intelligence – but was found in all but 2 of the 12 subtests of the WISC. -III intelligence test, across multiple intelligences. can need skills. He scored well on all tests of so-called fluid intelligence – the ability to think and find relationships in a way that doesn’t depend on background knowledge.
The size of the effect: How do we judge?
3 IQ points don’t seem like big results, but there is a way to look at an increase in IQ that helps put it into perspective and helps us evaluate its importance. Compare the progress from first grade to school level. The average IQ increase to school is about 4 points. The increase in music education (3 points) is, therefore, almost as much as the experience of the school itself. This now seems very useful.
What is special about music?
We need to be clear about one thing. Schellenberg’s experiment showed that music lessons improved IQ for six years. It doesn’t tell us that music lessons improve IQ in older children or adults. Six-year-old brains are known to be very ‘plastic’ – that is, young people’s brains can be reshaped and reshaped by experience. Both children and adults have fragile brains and it would be predictable that a year of music instruction in this case would have less impact on intelligence – although we don’t know for sure.
In music education, knowledge and skills about music increase, and this is important in itself. But what Schellenberg’s experiments show is that in addition to this, general intelligence is also learned and developed – indirectly. Learning music is great ‘brain training’ at this age! Music lessons involve long periods of concentration, daily practice, reading music, memorizing musical progressions, learning various musical concepts (e.g., scales, chords ), and fine-motor skills. It is not clear whether the combination of these skills improves intelligence, and further research is needed to investigate this question.
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