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Project 6 - Literature Review

Page history last edited by Sheri Higgs 13 years, 1 month ago



Inquiry Question

Can music instruction have a positive affect on cognitive development and/or achievement?


Article 1

Bugos, J. A., Perlstein, W. M., McCrae, C., Brophy, T., & Bedenbaugh, P. (2007). Individualized piano instruction enhances executive functioning and working memory in older adults. Aging and Mental Health , 11 (4), 464-471.



This study utilized thirty-one residents of an adult community to evaluate transfer from domain specific, sensorimotor training to executive function cognitive abilities.  The average age of the participants was 70.5.  The participants were divided into a control group consisting of 16 participants with the remaining 15 placed in the experimental group.  The experimental group participated in weekly one-half hour individual piano lessons and was required to practice a minimum of three hours per week.  All participants were given a battery of intelligence and memory tests prior to the start of the experiment.  The same tests were administered after completion of the trial and comparisons were made.  The finding showed that the experimental group showed significant gains in cognitive assessments for areas not trained during the individualized piano instruction.  This indicates a transfer of the intervention to other cognitive domains.


Article 2

Forgeard, M., Winter, E., Norton, A., & Schlaug, G. (2008). Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning. PLoS One , 3 (10), 1-8.



This study examined the differences in verbal and non-verbal reasoning abilities between children who had received music instruction and children who had not received music instruction.  Comparisons of abilities were also made between subgroups of children receiving music instruction based upon duration of instruction.  Transfer effects were found to occur between music instruction and selected cognitive domains. 


Article 3

Kinney, D. (2008). Selected Demographic Variables, School Music Participation, and Achievement Test Scores of Urban Middle School Students. Journal of Research in Music Education , 56 (2), 145-161.



This study selected nontransient 6th through 8th grade urban middle school students and examined compared their achievement test scores before and during enrollment in a performing ensemble.  Socioeconomic status and home environment were considered when comparing scores.  Fourth grade proficiency tests were used as the baseline for measuring academic achievement.  It was discovered that band students, in general, scored higher on proficiency test.  However, choir student did not show the same trend.


Article 4

Levitin, D. J., & Tirovolas, A. K. (2009). Current Advances in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Music. The Year in Cognitive Neuroscience , 211-231.



This article provides background for understanding the neural processing of music and the relationship between the different components of music and cognitive ability/processing.


Article 5

Moreno, S. (2009). Can Music Influence Language and Cognition? Contemporary Music Review , 28 (3), 329-345.



This article is a discussion of the use of nueral imaging to detect differences in brain structure and neural activity between musicians and non-musicians.   The differences in auditory processing, language processing, brain structure and brain function found between both groups are also discussed.  The neurological mapping techniques used indicated differences in the size of the areas in the brain used for verbal acquisition and discrimination between the groups.  The study also indicated that music and language share brain resources.  Tests utilizing language recognition of a language foreign to the subjects indicate that musicians were able to detect minor tonal differences in syllables better than non-musicians.  The musicians were also better able to recall the tonal differences as well as the actual word (verbal memory).


Article 6

Schellenberg, E. G. (2006). Long-Term Positive Associations Between Music Lessons and IQ. Journal of Educational Psychology , 98 (2), 457-468.



This two-part study involved 147 students ranging in age from 6 – 11 years old who had participated in music instruction during the previous 56 months (Part 1) and participants ranging in age from 16 – 25 years old who had received music instruction in their earlier years.  The study was conducted to determine the effect of long-term music instruction on IQ and cognitive abilities.  It was found that long-term music instruction was a predictor for IQ in young adulthood and academic ability in high school.  The study also found that there is a positive correlation between music and intelligence.


Article 7

Southgate, D. E., & Roscigno, V. J. (2009). The Impact of Music on Childhood and Adolescent Achievement. Social Science Quarterly , 90 (1), 4-21.



This study utilized data from the Department of Education: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study and the National Educational Longitudinal Study.  Participants in these studies numbered over 24,000.  The authors utilized only data containing IRT scores on math and reading.  This reduced the samples to under 4,400 from the Department of Education data and under 7,800 from the National Education study.  The students were broken into two grade level groups – K-1st and 8th and above.  Both groups had high follow-up rates every two years.  The groups were further divided into subgroups based upon the frequency of participation in music programs.  Baseline years were Kindergarten and 8th grade.  The study shows a positive correlation between music participation and increased academic achievement in math and reading, with reading showing the highest correlation.






Peer Review Memo





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