Sunday, February 21, 2010

Playing Musical Instruments Improves Reading and Language Skills

Freddie Hubbard

Learning and Playing a Musical Instrument Improves Reading

Children who learn to play a musical instrument may have an advantage when it comes to reading.

Professor Nina Kraus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois found that a part of the brain stimulated in musicians when they play music is also important in reading.

Professor Kraus found that people that can pick out harmonies and timing in sounds are better at reading.

Many chidren in the UK are entering secondary school with reading ages below that expected for their age and some are asking if music was given a higher position within the curriculum would reading improve?

Although all UK pupils up to the age of 14 have to have at least one lesson of music education a week very few pupils actually learn to play a musical instrument.

Music education and learning how to play a musical instrument are not the same thing.

The number of children learning musical instruments has decreased since free music instrument tuition for all was withdrawn from state education. Most pupils have to buy an instrument and pay for private lessons and for many families this is an expense that they just can't afford.

A curriculum that features more strongly learning how to play a musical instrument might bring real benefits for improving reading and language skills.

spring snow

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for chopsticks

"Schools which fail to make music a core subject are making a mistake, because it has advantages for the growing brain and would help all children, including those with dyslexia and autism, neuroscientist Professor Nina Kraus said yesterday."
"Words and music, such natural partners that it seems obvious they go together. Now science is confirming that those abilities are linked in the brain, a finding that might even lead to better stroke treatments"
"Musical experience can enhance everyday listening and language tasks. We are making new strides in understanding what changes happen in the brain with musical experience."

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