We recently published an article examining the “Mozart effect” and the conclusions were that there is very little evidence that listening to music does boost mental functions. However learning to play an instrument does seem to do the trick.
In this recent Scientific American article, the editors point out that:
The musically adept are better able to concentrate on a biology lesson despite the racket in the classroom or, a few years later, to finish a call with a client when a colleague in the next cubicle starts screaming at an underling.
They note at the same time:
a disturbing trend of a decline of music education as part of the standard curriculum.
Comments: This article shows once again the gap between what we know about the brain and brain health and the application of this knowledge, especially in education.
To learn more about how brain science fits into national classroom curricula read The brain in science education: What should everyone learn.
And stay tuned: We will publish next week the Top Brain Book Collection for Educators and Learners!
Christopher Magpul says
I always wished I took the time to learn how to play an instrument. I took piano lessons when I was young… quite relaxing really!
We do not need more of the same music education, we need new models and methods. Why does the profession abandon its members upon HS graduation? Why do we insist on teaching band orchestra or choir pieces rather than musical concepts? We wind up with illiterate monkeys performing for a contest or spring concert…then we lament that our programs are being cut and that classical music concerts lack audiences. Check out the Kore Series by MusickEd.com — these guys have something special going and are mavericks in their profession. If they can succeed, it just might eliminate the need to beg for funding to keep music in the schools.