Are Kids Who Take Music Lessons Different From Other Kids?

Muting the Mozart Effect

In this study, Schellenberg gave the theory that music training makes kids smarter a reality check by asking whether pre-existing differences in personality could explain why musically trained children have substantially higher IQs and perform better in school than other kids. “I wanted to stop this madness of making exaggerated claims about the intellectual benefits of music training,” he says. In separate music lessons groups of 167 10- to 12-year-olds and 118 university undergraduates, he looked at how individual differences in cognitive ability and personality predict who takes music lessons and for how long. The study measured the Big Five personality dimensions: openness-to-experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism. Among the children, openness-to-experience and conscientiousness predicted the likelihood of taking music lessons and persisting, while openness-to-experience was the best predictor of involvement in music lessons.
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The original article was written by Peter Reuell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above. Journal Reference: Samuel A. Mehr, Adena Schachner, Rachel C.
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Music lessons and kids: power from lesson one

They always succeed at everything they are able to do.” Annette Longhurst, a longtime piano teacher and music therapist in Logan, Utah, feels similarly. “Music is absolutely necessary for anyone to reach their full potential,” she said. “It captivates and maintains attention; for young children and (disabled) children, that’s very important. It stimulates and uses many parts of the brain, it’s reflective of a person’s abilities, provides a context for them to express themselves, helps them memorize. Through music everyone can find a great way to succeed, Longhurst said.
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