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Study: Music Helps Kids' Verbal Memory

July 29, 2003

Remember those piano lessons you hated, or those dreaded hours practicing the violin? It turns out they might have gotten you better test scores.

According to a new study, children with music training had significantly better verbal memory than those without such training, and the longer the training, the better the verbal memory. The research, conducted at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was published in the most recent issue of the journal Neuropsychology.




Hardy, Lawrence (March 2001). Playing Digital: Music Instruction for the Next Generation [Online]. Accessed 3/7/01: http://www.electronic-school.com/2001/03/0301f1.html. Quoting from the first part of the article:

Music class begins at James Blake High School near Washington, D.C.: "Go ahead, boot up your computers." That's Shirley Letcher, calling out instructions from the teacher's workstation, an imposing wired matrix that links a synthesizer, computer keyboard, and monitor.

"This time I want you to save your work on the computer so I can hear it," Letcher says. "You're going to vary the velocity and the tempo, and you're going to use different instruments for each track. And you're going to use the mixer window to balance the dynamics."

For a music room, it's remarkably quiet -- just the whir of computers warming up, the buzz of florescent lights, and later, the faint strains of a Bach two-part invention, pulsating through the students' headsets. The students use the prerecorded music to experiment on their own with volume and tempo and timbre, substituting the electronic piano with the sounds of any one of 1,200 instruments in their computer files. What would Bach sound like on a dulcimer and steel drums? The kids can find out.

Making Music with Macs (The Media Machine) [Online]. Accessed 6/5/01: http://www.mashine.com/. Quoting from the Website:

This site is authored by David Mash, Vice President for Information Technology at Berklee College of Music--the world's largest music college devoted to preparing musicians for professional career. David is a musician, author, and AppleMaster. Public pages on this site show some of David's work. Member pages contain valuable learning materials. We hope this site can be of service in your quest to master the art of making music with Macs.

NotationStation.new [Online]. Accessed 11/21/00: http://www.NotationStation.net. Quoting from the Website:

NotationStation.net is completely FREE to Music Educators. There's no software to purchase, and no site license fees--all you need is a computer with an Internet connection. The NotationStation.net platform has just been adopted by McGraw-Hill, for use with their Share the Music program, and by The National Association for Music Education (MENC), to help bring standards-related teaching to schools across the country.


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