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Associations between music education, intelligence, and spelling ability in elementary school.

Hille K, Gust K, Bitz U, Kammer T - Adv Cogn Psychol (2011)

Bottom Line: The effect on intelligence remained (p < .05).Furthermore, boys playing an instrument showed better performance in spelling compared to the boys who were not playing, despite family members with instruments (p < .01).This effect was observed independently of IQ.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
Musical education has a beneficial effect on higher cognitive functions, but questions arise whether associations between music lessons and cognitive abilities are specific to a domain or general. We tested 194 boys in Grade 3 by measuring reading and spelling performance, non verbal intelligence and asked parents about musical activities since preschool. Questionnaire data showed that 53% of the boys had learned to play a musical instrument. Intelligence was higher for boys playing an instrument (p < .001). To control for unspecific effects we excluded families without instruments. The effect on intelligence remained (p < .05). Furthermore, boys playing an instrument showed better performance in spelling compared to the boys who were not playing, despite family members with instruments (p < .01). This effect was observed independently of IQ. Our findings suggest an association between music education and general cognitive ability as well as a specific language link.

No MeSH data available.


Percent of boys playing an instrument in relation to spelling performance							(whole sample).
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Figure 3: Percent of boys playing an instrument in relation to spelling performance (whole sample).

Mentions: In line with these results, studies with dyslexic risk populations of 6-year old children and a dyslexic population of 9-year old children demonstrated a positive effect of musical lessons on spelling performance and phonological abilities but not on reading (Overy, 2003). It therefore appears from these studies that children with particularly low reading and spelling abilities benefit most from playing a musical instrument. We cannot exclude that low performers dislike playing an instrument and therefore cause the observed group differences. Our data (Figure 3) show a leap between the percentages of players in the two lowest quartiles (delta 30%) that cannot be seen between the other quartiles (delta max. 8%). This pattern suggests a kind of threshold.


Associations between music education, intelligence, and spelling ability in elementary school.

Hille K, Gust K, Bitz U, Kammer T - Adv Cogn Psychol (2011)

Percent of boys playing an instrument in relation to spelling performance							(whole sample).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3101523&req=5

Figure 3: Percent of boys playing an instrument in relation to spelling performance (whole sample).
Mentions: In line with these results, studies with dyslexic risk populations of 6-year old children and a dyslexic population of 9-year old children demonstrated a positive effect of musical lessons on spelling performance and phonological abilities but not on reading (Overy, 2003). It therefore appears from these studies that children with particularly low reading and spelling abilities benefit most from playing a musical instrument. We cannot exclude that low performers dislike playing an instrument and therefore cause the observed group differences. Our data (Figure 3) show a leap between the percentages of players in the two lowest quartiles (delta 30%) that cannot be seen between the other quartiles (delta max. 8%). This pattern suggests a kind of threshold.

Bottom Line: The effect on intelligence remained (p < .05).Furthermore, boys playing an instrument showed better performance in spelling compared to the boys who were not playing, despite family members with instruments (p < .01).This effect was observed independently of IQ.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT
Musical education has a beneficial effect on higher cognitive functions, but questions arise whether associations between music lessons and cognitive abilities are specific to a domain or general. We tested 194 boys in Grade 3 by measuring reading and spelling performance, non verbal intelligence and asked parents about musical activities since preschool. Questionnaire data showed that 53% of the boys had learned to play a musical instrument. Intelligence was higher for boys playing an instrument (p < .001). To control for unspecific effects we excluded families without instruments. The effect on intelligence remained (p < .05). Furthermore, boys playing an instrument showed better performance in spelling compared to the boys who were not playing, despite family members with instruments (p < .01). This effect was observed independently of IQ. Our findings suggest an association between music education and general cognitive ability as well as a specific language link.

No MeSH data available.