AOSA is interested in sharing current, peer-reviewed research in the field of music education. If you have links to research that you would like to share with our membership, please send the information to the Communications Director.
This study shows a link between the ability to keep a beat and the neural encoding of speech sounds with implications for reading.
A recent study shows that music improves baby brain responses to music and speech.
For the complete study: https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/04/20/1603984113.full
Jamming with Toddlers: “…informal music-making in the home from around the ages of two and three can lead to better literacy, numeracy, social skills, and attention and emotion regulation by the age of five.”
A new study shows that when it comes to a child’s brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.
For the complete study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11273389
Listening to classical music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic neurotransmission, learning and memory, and down-regulated the genes mediating neurodegeneration.
Studies demonstrate that the arts help with student engagement and academic attainment, and that arts education (“arts for arts’ sake”) and arts integration should be a focus of every school’s curriculum and every child’s learning experience.
Scientists studied a group of high school students, and found those who were better at keeping a beat musically had superior language skills compared to their more rhythmically-challenged classmates.
This study found that music training increased thickness in parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning, which includes working memory, attentional control and organizational skills.
To access data from the research: https://www.jaacap.com/article/S0890-8567%2814%2900578-4/abstract
A child’s ability to distinguish musical rhythm is related to his or her capacity for understanding grammar, according to a recent study from a researcher at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center.
abstract and link to research: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/desc.12230/abstract
An article in the Wall Street Journal reviews research that shows ways in which music training boosts IQ, focus and persistence…and proposes music education as a solution to “some of the thorniest and most expensive problems facing American education.”
According to Science Daily, research completed at Boston Children’s Hospital demonstrates “… a possible biological link between early musical training and improved executive functioning in both children and adults.”
The following link includes the complete study: “Behavior and Neural Correlates of Executive Functioning in Musicians and Non-Musicians” by Jennifer Zuk, Christopher Benjamin, Arnold Kenyon, and Nadine Gaab
Two articles about research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine suggest that improvisation between jazz musicians activates areas of the brain linked to syntactic processing for language.
A study as part of the Harmony Project indicates that “Music instruction not only improves children’s communication skills, attention, and memory, but that it may even close the academic gap between rich and poor students.”
Researchers at Michigan State University have found a very strong correlation between childhood engagement in the creative arts and measurable success later in life as reported in this article from ABC News:
A study completed at Oregon State University demonstrates that “play is one of the most cognitively stimulating things a child can do.” Clapping and singing games are included in the article.
Moving in time is linked to better language skills in research conducted by Nina Kraus of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Illinois. This article from BBC News reviews the research and includes links to related research: