Effects Of Music On The Mind


TttAre people typically geniuses? Statistically, people probably are not. In fact, most people
probably aren’t even intellectually gifted at all. Most people are likely to be pretty much
average, maybe a little bit above average, or a little below, but very average none the
less. It is universally understood that people strive to learn to become wiser and more
informed about the world around them. The more people learn, the more powerful they
can become. It is the speed at which people learn that separates the geniuses from the
average people and from the learning disabled. Geniuses don’t run into problems while
learning, because they learn very fast. It is everyone else that could really use help. One
solid way to increase the speed at which people learn is with music. People learn through
music and their minds grow faster because of it. Some music, when implemented
properly, can have positive effects on learning and attitude. Music is a powerful thing, and
when we understand its significance, it can bring dramatic changes both positive and
negative into our lives.
The earliest stages of learning for young children are the most important. The
fundamentals of learning are instilled into a child at a very young age. How much
importance is placed on these fundamentals can have dramatic affects on the future of
the child’s learning. Music, when applied in a constructive way, can have positive effects
on a child’s ability to learning and can help them in many ways.
One way that music can make learning easier for a young child is by implementing music
lessons into a child’s normal activities. A small study was done two years back involving
ten three-year-olds who were tested on their ability to put together a puzzle and the speed
at which they could do it (“Learning Keys” 24).After the initial test was taken, five of the
children were given singing lessons for 30 minutes a day and the other five were given
piano lessons for 15 minutes a week (24). The lessons were conducted over a six- month
period of time, and after the six months, all of the kids showed substantial improvement
in the speed at which they could put together the puzzle (24). The researchers
understand this skill in putting pieces of a puzzle together as the same reasoning that
engineers, chess players and high-level mathematicians use. In this study of inner-city
kids, their initial scores were below the national average, but afterwards their scores
nearly doubled (24). The term given to this type of reasoning and thought that goes into
putting pieces of a puzzle together is called abstract reasoning. By teaching music,
people exercise the same abstract reasoning skills that they use for doing math or some
other exercise in which the people have to visualize in their head. An eight month study
was conducted by Frances H. Rauscher of the University of California at Irvine. In this
study, nineteen preschoolers, ranging in age from three to five, received weekly keyboard
and daily singing lessons while another fivteen preschoolers received no musical training
at all (Bower 143). At the begining, middle and end of the study, the subjects were tested
on five spatial reasoning tasks (143). After only four months, scores on the test to
assemble a puzzle to form a picture improved dramatically for the group with the musical
training, while the control group didn’t, even though both groups started out with the
same scores (143). It can be stated that this kind of improvement may not be substantial
enough to alter the way people are fundamentally taught, but its results cannot be
ignored. Rauscher explains, “Music instruction can improve a child’s spatial intelligence
for a long time, perhaps permanently” (qtd. in Bower 143). Implementing such changes
and improvements into a young child’s learning could have great effects on them in the
future when dealing with the same spatial reasoning skills.
With its resulting improvements in spatial reasoning, music can also be a very helpful
tool when actually implementing it into the classroom and intergradting it with basic
school curriculum. In New York City, a program called Learning through an Expanded Arts
Program, or LEAP, has been going on for a while and provides both music and the arts is
implemented into the school curriculum to improve scholastic scores of children at all
levels (Dean and Gross 614). One way in which music is implemented is with math. They
call it “musical

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