Piano Lessons Boost Math Scores
Second-grade students who took piano lessons for 4 months scored significantly higher on math tests than children who did not. Apparently, piano instruction helps to hardwire the brain in such a way that children are better able to visualize and transform objects in space and time. Playing music involves mathematical concepts such as counting time, understanding intervals, ratios, fractions, proportions. Musical training appears to help children to grasp concepts basic to proportional math. Proportional math is usually introduced during the sixth grade, and has proved to be enormously difficult to teach to most children using the usual language-analytic methods Not only is proportional math crucial for all college-level science, but it is the first academic hurdle that requires children to grasp underlying concepts before they can master the material. Rote learning simply does not work. The decline of music instruction in schools could be one reason American children do not do as well in math as children from other countries.
Neurological Research 1999;21:139-152.
COMMENT: A fascinating piece of research that encourages us to be a well balanced as possible.