by Andrew Loh
When you were a child, did your mother make you taking music lessons that you always hated and was finding all ways to avoid it? Without knowingly, your mother's insistence that you practice your musical instrument an hour a day actually made you smarter! Recent studies had shown that your mother was probably right to make you stick to your piano or violin. Here are some proves:
* Music lessons have shown to improve a childís performance in school. After eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers tested showed a 46% boost in their spatial IQ, which is crucial for higher brain functions such as complex mathematics and science that draw heavily upon spatial-temporal reasoning. Which is the ability to visualize ratios, fractions and proportions. A good understanding of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to advanced math critical in high-tech fields. - Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine
* Mozartís Piano Sonata K448 was found to significantly increase spatial scores of college students on IQ tests when the Sonata was listened to for 10 minutes, dubbed the "Mozart Effect." Former choral conductor Don Campbell writes 'The Mozart Effect', an instant bestseller that proposes classical music can help infants reach and think better. The book launched a stampede of Mozart-related children's products.
* At the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, held in Los Angeles, the researchers presented magnetic resonance imaging scans (MRI) of the brains of 32 right-handed musicians. These were contrasted with MRI-brain scans of 24 other right-handed men who did not play instruments. The musicians overall showed a 5 percent increase in the size of the cerebellum -- an area of the brain involved in fine motor coordination.
* Students with coursework/experience in music performance scored an average of 52 points higher on the verbal portion of the SAT and 36 points higher on the math portion of the SAT than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. - Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers. The College Board. Compiled by MENC. 1995
* Researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong gave a series of verbal memory tests to 30 female students who had had at least 6 years of music lessons before age 12, and 30 who had had no music training. In one test, for example, the students listened to a list of 16 words, and were then asked to recall as many as possible. "We found that adults with music training learned significantly more words than those without any music training," the researchers, Agnes S. Chan and colleagues, write. "Music training in childhood may therefore have long-term positive effects on verbal memory."
* A Rockefeller Foundation study stated that music majors have the highest rate of 66.7 percent of admittance to medical school.
* The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.
Having these facts show that music can make your child smarter. It is important for parents to expose their children to all kinds of music as earlier as possible. If a child is exposed to music the first ten years of his life, his musical aptitude will increase. By doing so, you are actually nurturing a smarter kid.
Music Therapy Infocenter