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Neuroscientists have worked for over two decades to understand how the brain processes music, affects emotions, and changes brain development. Much of this research has been based on a model that compares the brain function of participants classified as musicians and nonmusicians. This body of knowledge reveals a large number of benefits from music education including improvements in memory, language acquisition, executive function, and brain plasticity. These findings offer the beginnings of an evidence-based argument in favor of music education for every child. Yet if the potential of this research is to be leveraged for this purpose, music educators need to know the type, period, and age range for music education that has been shown to affect positive, measurable, and enduring change in brain development. This article explores the criteria used to define musician and suggests ways these criteria could be used to advocate for specific developments in music education curricula.
Update: Applications of Research in Music
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DOI: 10.1177/8755123313502346
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Anita Collins
Music Education and the Brain: What Does It Take to Make a Change?
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The fields of neuroscience and music have been inter-
twined over the past two decades in an effort to unlock
some of the secrets of how the human brain develops and
functions. Eminent neuroscience researcher Robert
Zatorre (2005) wrote that “music involves a tantalizing
mix of practically every human cognitive function”
(p. 312) and because of this music provides unique insights
into how the brain develops and processes information.
Early studies involved participants listening to music
while positron emission tomography and functional mag-
netic resonance imaging technology was used to observe
how the brain made sense of the sounds. Comparative
studies that observed responses to different melodies or
rhythmic samples were undertaken. Brain imaging tech-
nology rapidly advanced so that neuroscientists could
observe musicians in the act of making or imaging to
make music. Theories of how musical and nonmusical
information is stored and processed began to emerge.
Neuroscientists began to see identifiable differences
between participants they classified as musicians and
nonmusicians. These differences are divided into two
areas: brain structures (the areas in the brain, such as cor-
pus callosum and auditory cortex) and brain functions
(the mechanisms the brain uses to form message path-
ways and process information). These differences cov-
ered a variety of attributes. Participants classified as
musicians were found to have heightened capacities in
multiple areas of the brain, including memory (Degé,
Wehrum, Stark, & Schwarzer, 2011; Jonides, 2008),
language acquisition and syntax (Dammann, 2009; Patel,
2009), executive function (Hanna-Pladdy & MacKay,
2011; Posner, Rothbart, Sheese, & Kieras, 2008), and
brain plasticity (Hannon & Trainor, 2007; Hyde et al.,
2009). These differences sparked a number of studies
that attempted to identify how and why participants
classed as musicians displayed significant differences in
their brain function and structure to nonmusicians.
This research had the potential to support many of the
inherent beliefs about the importance of music education
that I based my practice on as a university teacher educa-
tor and high school music teacher. The findings showed
that music education could positively and permanently
improve cognitive skills, physical development, and
emotional well-being. Although these benefits have often
been argued from an aesthetic education perspective
(Austin & Reinhardt, 1999; Leonhard & House, 1959;
Meyer, 1956; Reimer, 1993; Swanwick, 1979), neurosci-
ence offered a “hard science” perspective and body of
knowledge that implicated music education as a core
learning area for children. Both aesthetic and scientific
research suggested ways that music education could help
students succeed in tomorrow’s world and the broader
1University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT, Australia
Corresponding Author:
Anita Collins, University of Canberra, Faculty of Education, Building 5,
Bruce, ACT 2601, Australia.
Music Education and the Brain: What
Does It Take to Make a Change?
Anita Collins1
Neuroscientists have worked for over two decades to understand how the brain processes music, affects emotions,
and changes brain development. Much of this research has been based on a model that compares the brain function
of participants classified as musicians and nonmusicians. This body of knowledge reveals a large number of benefits
from music education including improvements in memory, language acquisition, executive function, and brain plasticity.
These findings offer the beginnings of an evidence-based argument in favor of music education for every child. Yet
if the potential of this research is to be leveraged for this purpose, music educators need to know the type, period,
and age range for music education that has been shown to affect positive, measurable, and enduring change in brain
development. This article explores the criteria used to define musician and suggests ways these criteria could be used
to advocate for specific developments in music education curricula.
advocacy, brain, brain development, music education, musician, neuroscience
2 Update XX(X)
implications of these findings could “support music as a
core within the complete curriculum” as outlined in the
Advocacy statement of the NAfME Strategic Plan
(NAfME, 2011, p. 1)
Yet in order for these findings effectively underpin
advocacy for music education, a significant question
related to the relevance of those findings to everyday
people, in this case children of school age, not “musi-
cians” needed to be answered. What does neuroscience
classify as a musician? And how significant are factors
such as the type and length of music education the partici-
pants in those studies had received, and the age at which
they had received it? In short, an investigation of the
design parameters of those studies was needed before the
findings could be translated in the school context and for
effective advocacy of music education.
Benefits of Music Education to Brain
Before outlining the review method and findings, it is
helpful to gain an overview of the benefits of music edu-
cation to brain development, as suggested by recent neu-
roscientific research. This is by no means an exhaustive
overview but aims to better inform music educators of
relevant findings in the field.
Many are aware of the broad claims made in the name
of the preliminary research by Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky
(1993) on the Mozart Effect (Campbell, 2001) and the
capacity for music, but not music education, to raise intel-
ligence levels. Campbell’s interpretation of the Rauscher
et al. study along with many other studies has been refuted
by numerous researchers in the field and may have done
music education a great disservice at the time. However,
the field of neuroscience has continued to discover, and
strengthen, the links between music education and posi-
tive brain development. The study in this article aims to
give music educators more recent and credible findings
about music education from the decade of research since
the Mozart Effect. As mentioned in the introduction, the
use of these findings to support and advocate for the
importance and value of music education needs to be
viewed in tandem with the specific criteria that research-
ers have used to define a musician.
Musicians have been found to possess advanced skills
in both long and short-term memory (Jonides, 2008) and
memory storage and retrieval (Dunbar, 2008). It has been
suggested that music rehearsal helps improve the mem-
ory pathways in the brain and that musicians use pictures
and narrative to link memories. Furthermore, it has been
suggested that musicians attach multiple “tags” to a sin-
gle memory, such as a conceptual tag, emotional tag, and
contextual tag, and this considerably enhances memory
storage and retrieval. Enhanced verbal memory is linked
to these skills and suggests that music education enhances
the pathways for melodic memory and that the brain
translates this into language. Most recently, Koelsch
(2011) has suggested that “the human brain, particularly
at an early age, does not treat language and music as
strictly separate domains, but rather treats language as a
special case of music” (p. 16).
Following on from this finding, musicians have been
found to acquire language and understand the rules of
language and its syntax more effectively than nonmusi-
cians (Dammann, 2009; Peretz et al., 2009; Wandell,
Dougherty, Ben-Shachar, Deutsch, & Tsang, 2009). This
area has attracted attention from researchers on the basis
that the study of music processing might provide insight
into the development of language processing in the brain
(Patel, 2008). Researchers suggest that music education
assists in the understanding of musical syntax, which in
turn assists in understanding language syntax. In fact,
music education may develop the mirror neuron system
in the brain (Haslinger et al., 2005; Molnar-Szakacs &
Overy, 2006; Overy & Molnar-Szakacs, 2009). This sys-
tem enables the brain to complete two processes at once,
making the brain work twice as effectively in the same
amount of time. In essence, a musician’s brain can work
twice as well in half the time. However, it should be noted
that at the time of writing, significant debate remains over
whether music education is solely responsible for this
type of brain development, or if it simply capitalizes on
preexisting differences in an individual’s mirror neuron
system (Zatorre, Chen, & Penhune, 2007).
The same mirror neuron system allows simultaneous
processing of different types of information, for example,
analyzing a sound for both its perceptual and hierarchical
qualities. This area of brain development connects with a
group of skills known collectively as Executive Function.
Musicians have been found to have higher levels of
Executive Function (Geake, 2009; Hanna-Pladdy &
MacKay, 2011), which refer to a group of interlinked
tasks that include planning, strategizing, setting goals,
and paying attention to detail. To perform these tasks at a
high level, the brain needs to be able to analyze informa-
tion simultaneously and consider both the cognitive and
emotional aspects. High levels of Executive Function are
evident in a person who can successfully resolve internal
and external conflict, or solve problems effectively.
Again, research has suggested that musical rehearsal
assists with the development of attention skills, which is
a significant factor in Executive Function (Jonides, 2008).
Musicians also appear to have higher levels of brain
plasticity and this was one of the original areas that
sparked investigation of the benefits of music education
to brain development (Munte, Altenmuller, & Jancke,
2002; Schlaug, 2001). Brain plasticity refers to the capac-
ity of the brain to change, remain flexible, and continue to
Collins 3
learn throughout one’s life. This challenges earlier think-
ing that the human brain became “set” or unable to change
or learn once we reached adulthood, summed up by the
adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Music
education has been found to encourage high levels of
plasticity in the auditory cortex (where we process sound
information) and frontal cortex (where we process many
executive functions such as the ability to predict conse-
quences, moderate emotional reactions, and determine
similarities and differences). This plasticity allows for
higher levels of creativity and divergent thinking (Gibson,
Folley, & Park, 2009) as well as improved brain health
into later life (Moser, 2005).
Although the above review of neuroscience research
is not exhaustive, it does highlight the benefits of the
type of music education that involves making, rehears-
ing, performing, and understanding music on brain
development. Although these findings are useful when
advocating for the importance and value of music edu-
cation within the curriculum, such advocacy can be
strengthened by a greater understanding of the type and
length of music education that has led to these research
Too often music education is devalued by other educa-
tors, leaders, and policy makers who see it as a vehicle for
entertainment for the school community. The fact that the
final product, the performance, is the public face of
the music education program in a school can neglect the
meaningful learning that occurs in the learning process
leading up to a performance. The argument may now be
made, using findings based in the scientific rather than
artistic fields, that the learning process is far more impor-
tant than the performance for the overall neurological
development of a child. A paradigm shift of this kind
could have significant implications for all aspects of
music education. To assist in this recognition the music
profession needs specific details from the research that
advocates for this type of shift.
The review that follows will outline the type, length,
and age period of music education that has been shown to
affect positive and permanent changes in brain develop-
ment as outlined in the current body of research in the
neuroscientific field.
This review consisted of 14 studies and took the form of
a meta-analysis that compared the criteria used in each
study to identify musicians and nonmusicians. The stud-
ies were selected from a larger literature review to the
field of music education and neuroscience. The compari-
son focused on the specific activities that were identified
as music education and over what period of time and at
what age these activities occurred.
The key issue on review of the studies was the age of
the participants when the study occurred. Many of the
earlier studies were conducted using professionals and
amateurs adult musician whereas a number of the more
recent studies involved children of various ages. Some of
the studies investigated one small part or activity within
the brain whereas other studies focused on the broader
range of brain activity that was influenced by music edu-
cation. To further complicate the process, details of the
selection criteria could be extremely brief. In a published
research article, this information was typically buried in a
single sentence in the methodology section or scattered
throughout the findings and discussion sections.
The studies selected for review needed to be broad
enough to provide an overview of the research findings
and narrow enough to define a musician for the purposes
of informing and advocating for the importance of music
education in a child’s learning. Therefore, the studies
were divided equally between adult and child partici-
pants. The term commonly used in the studies to identify
music education was formal music training. For the pur-
poses of this review, the term formal music training will
be used in the place of music education.
Selection of Studies
The 14 studies fall into two groups based on their partici-
pants. The list of the studies can be found in Table 1 and
will be referred to in this article as Studies 1, 2, and so
on. Studies 1 to 7 involve adult participants. These stud-
ies compared professional musicians (those drawing
their primary income from musical performance or
music education) with nonmusicians (who had no sig-
nificant formal instrumental music education experi-
ences). The criterion for a musician in this group was
defined in a number of different ways: by the average
hours of practice per day (Studies 1, 6, and 7), if they had
participated in continuous music learning from child-
hood through adolescence (equal or more than 10 years;
Study 4), and/or trained at a specified music school
(Studies 1, 2, 3, and 5).
The second group of studies, Studies 8 to 14, involved
child participants between the ages of 3 and 11 years. Six
out of the seven studies compared those who undertook
formal music training in the form of instrumental music
lessons. The only study that used an alternative form of
music education was Study 11, which undertook formal
Kodaly lessons in a classroom environment.
Exclusionary Criteria Within the Studies
Several exclusionary criteria existed in each study. The
most prominent was that all participants selected for the
experiment were right handed, which was determined by
4 Update XX(X)
the use of the Edinburgh Handedness Test (Oldfield,
1971). As these studies involved scientific testing, this is
a commonly used criterion to limit variability in the
results. Participants were also excluded on the grounds of
a history of hearing and vision problems, a history of sei-
zures, metal implants, pregnancy, or head trauma with
loss of consciousness (Study 4), problems or delays with
language acquisition, learning problems, and if they had
given up learning an instrument (Study 12). Two interest-
ing exclusions used in the studies were those participants
who learnt more than one instrument (Studies 3 and 5)
and those who learnt a foreign language before 6 years of
age (Study 12).
Type of Music Education
The majority of the studies, with the exception of Studies 8
and 11, defined formal music training as the learning of a
musical instrument. This included string, keyboard, or
conventionally recognized musical instruments. This
choice could have been made for a number of reasons: For
the purposes of a scientific study this option presents far
fewer variables, the participant group would be easier to
access, students are likely to undertake this type of musical
learning for several years with the same teacher as opposed
to multiple classroom teachers and methodologies during
the same period. Studies 8 and 11 used weekly Orff or
Kodaly lessons, respectively, in their definition of musi-
cian, and although Study 8 did use Orff instruments in con-
junction with other Orff activities (such as singing and
games), learning a single musical instrument was not the
primary objective of this type of formal music training.
In addition to this definition, the review revealed fur-
ther details about the type of formal music training that
contributed to the definition of a musician. Disregarding
Studies 8 and 11, all studies required weekly lessons on
a musical instrument during the school year in a one
teacher/one student format. Studies 8 and 11 listed for-
mal music training as weekly lessons during the school
year in a one teacher/no more than six student format.
Period of Music Education
Studies 1 to 7 involved professional musicians and there-
fore the duration of their training varied significantly but
was always more than 10 years and involved weekly one-
to-one lessons. Studies 8 to 14 provided more informa-
tion that could be useful to a music educator. Among
other objectives, these studies sought to determine the
length of formal music education required to produce
structural and functional brain changes. Essentially, they
Table 1. Studies Included in the Literature Review.
Studies involving adult participants Studies involving child participants
1. Gaser, C., & Schlaug, G. (2003). Brain structures differ between
musicians and non-musicians. Journal of Neuroscience, 23,
2. Schlaug, G. (2001). The brain of musicians: A model for
functional and structural adaptation. Annals of the New York
Academy of Sciences, 930, 281–299.
3. Fujioka, T., Trainor, L. J., Ross, B., Kakigi, R., & Pantev, C.
(2004). Musical training enhances automatic encoding of
melodic contour and interval structure. Journal of Cognitive
Neuroscience, 16, 1010–1021.
4. Schmithorst, V. J., & Wilke, M. (2002). Differences in white
matter architecture between musicians and non-musicians: A
diffusion tensor imaging study. Neuroscience Letters, 321, 57–60.
5. Bangert, M., & Schlaug, G. (2006). Specialization of the
specialized in features of external human brain morphology.
European Journal of Neuroscience, 24, 1832–1834.
6. Bengtsson, S. L., Nagy, Z., Skare, K., Forsman, L., Forssberg,
H., & Ullen, F. (2005). Extensive piano practicing has regionally
specific effects on white matter development. Nature
Neuroscience, 8, 1148–1150.
7. Ridding, M. C., Brouwer, B., & Nordstrom, M. A. (2000).
Reduced interhemispheric inhibition in musicians. Experimental
Brain Research, 133, 249–253.
8. Marin, M. (2009). Effects of early musical training on
musical and linguistic syntactic abilities. Neurosciences
and Music III—Disorders and Plasticity, 1169, 187–190.
9. Schlaug, G., Forgeard, M., Zhu, L., Norton, A., &
Winner, E. (2009). Training–induced neuroplasticity
in young children. Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences, 1169, 205–208.
10. Hyde, K., Lerch, J., Norton, A., Forgeard, M., Winner,
E., Evans, A. C., & Schlaug, G. (2009). Musical training
shapes structural brain development. Journal of
Neuroscience, 26, 3019–3025.
11. Schellenberg, E. G. (2004). Music lesson and IQ.
Psychological Sciences, 15, 511–514.
12. Jentschke, S., & Koelsch, S. (2009). Musical training
modulates the development of syntax processing in
children. NeuroImage, 47, 725–744.
13. Hetland, L. (2000). Learning to make music enhances
spatial reasoning. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34,
14. Hannon, E. E., & Trainor, L. J. (2007). Music acquisition:
Effects of enculturation and formal training on
development. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 465–472.
Collins 5
were searching for a minimum period of music training
required to change the brain. Studies 9, 10, and 14 found
that participants who underwent weekly instrumental les-
sons from between 8 weeks and 15 months showed either
structural or functional changes in brain activity but not
both. Studies 12 and 13 showed that both structural and
functional changes in the brain occurred after a minimum
of 2 years of formal instrumental music training.
Age of Music Education
The age at which formal music training occurred varied
widely. The studies involving children only examined
children in their primary school years (<11 years of age)
whereas the studies involving adults examined a far wider
age range. Study 6 examined the average practice hours
of professional musicians in three important periods dur-
ing their childhood and adolescence, the age they began
practicing till 11 years, 12 to 16 years, and 17 years until
time of test. Study 6 found that the earlier the students
began practicing a musical instrument the more signifi-
cant the changes in the brain. Study 13 echoes this find-
ing and Study 4 used the continuation of instrumental
lessons through childhood and adolescence as a criteria
for their musicians.
The review revealed a number of useful research findings
and also some significant questions that deserve further
investigation. In essence, positive changes in brain struc-
ture and function have been observed in musicians who
have learned a musical instrument in a weekly one-to-one
lesson for more than 2 years and have commenced learn-
ing as early as is appropriate for their instrument. In terms
of music education, this definition would support the con-
cept of experiential learning or learning through doing
that Dewey (1910) and Eisner (2002) understood educa-
tion to be. This type of music education would fall into the
paradigm on which many of our state and national curri-
cula are based, that music education must occur through
the medium of music making. In an even narrower sense,
it is music making that occurs through performance, rather
than composition. This definition also supports the direct
instruction or master and apprentice model of music edu-
cation that includes regular weekly connection with an
expert on the instrument. This has been the predominant
model for instrumental tuition for centuries, but rather
than consider this as a best practice model, it should move
appropriately to be considered the most established or pre-
dominant. The minimum of 2 years tuition in this format
is an interesting finding for music educators. Music pro-
grams can be organized in a myriad ways, but a common
learning period is for one semester or 1 year. Looking at
musical development in 2-year time frames may not be as
common and this finding may encourage a reexamination
of how we view musical development when related to
brain development.
The definition of a musician in these studies begs a
number of questions that future research might usefully
address including: Is instrumental music training the only
form of music education that has positive effects on brain
development? If students learn in a group or social situa-
tion does this lessen the positive effects of formal music
training? If a child plays a violin and begins learning at 3
years of age, is their brain development greater than a
child who takes up trombone at 10 years of age?
Our current body of research does not appear to pro-
vide answers to these questions. The field itself is rela-
tively young (entering its third decade) and research not
only needs to be initiated but also verified and replicated
in different contexts and at different times in history.
Some suggest that using these findings even now is too
soon (Gruhn, 2004). I would venture that learning a musi-
cal instrumental is not the only form of music education
that positively effects brain development, but it provides
clear and easy parameters on which to base a scientific
study. It is also an easy and large participant group to
access. These two reasons may make this group attractive
to neuroscientists, more so than a classroom program
based on an Orff or Kodaly methodology or informal
music learning environments.
Music educators know that every music ensemble or
music learning environment is unique and different. It
depends on the aims of the ensemble, performance goals,
resourcing, rehearsal space and frequency, student per-
sonalities, and teaching style. For a scientist, the number
of variables this context introduces makes it unattractive
for scientific study. Yet some scientific studies have
examined this aspect of music education (Koelsch &
Siebel, 2005), and Sloboda (1991) argues that the physi-
cal setting and social dynamics of a music making experi-
ence are just as important as any brain development that
occurs. Research in this area, using the small knowledge
base that already exists, could assist music educators to
understand how and why music education in a group can
affect brain development. Similarly, the imperative for
active music making rather than more passive music
appreciation could be bolstered by such research.
The age at which music education begins has been
widely researched and findings in this area are similar;
the earlier a child begins to be exposed and understand
music the more they benefit. Although this idea is impor-
tant, it will be just as important to follow the musical
learning and brain development of children over a longer
period than 2 years, which will likely happen as the field
continues to grow and research questions become more
6 Update XX(X)
The purpose of research should always be to inform
and improve practice. The findings from this review could
be applied in a broad range of circumstances, including
the following:
• Supporting research for the establishment of an
instrumental music program
• Supporting research for the extension of a compul-
sory music program to a minimum of 2 years
• Supporting research for the expansion of an
instrumental music program that may have been
established on a pilot, voluntary, or user-pays
• Supporting research for the justification of the
continuation of an instrumental music program
that is in danger of closure
• Supporting research in the education of parents,
community bodies, and school administrators on
the benefits of instrumental music education
As music educators, we find ourselves consistently
arguing for the importance and value of our discipline. In
these times of economic restraint and the constant call to
fit more learning into a smaller time frame, we will see
ourselves continue to argue our case. In the past, our
arguments have been based predominantly on the aes-
thetic benefits of the arts in the development of a well-
rounded student. I do not believe we should cast aside
those important points in favor of a scientific-based argu-
ment, but by presenting our position with findings from
both sides, it is more likely that our arguments will reach
and influence a larger number of people who value differ-
ent types of evidence. The ultimate goal of this approach
is to shift the current paradigm of the value of music edu-
cation in each child’s development to reflect Oliver
Sacks’s conviction that “for the vast majority of students,
music can be every bit as important educationally as read-
ing and writing” (2007, p. 102). Importantly, the research
field has advanced sufficiently to the point that instead of
passively reading the questions posed by the neurosci-
ence, we may begin to actively ask the questions our-
selves and work together to better understand music
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with
respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this
The author received no financial support for the research,
authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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... Collins 14 plantea que existen diversos desarrollos teóricos provenientes del campo de las neurociencias que proponen explicaciones científicas respecto de cómo el cerebro procesa los estímulos musicales, afecta a las emociones y cambia el desarrollo del cerebro. Gran parte de estas investigaciones se han basado en un modelo que compara el funcionamiento cerebral de sujetos músicos y no músicos. ...
... Respecto al estudio de la confiablidad del CEM-A, los valores de los coeficientes de correlación «r» de Pearson obtenidos entre la primera y la segunda aplicación del instrumento a la muestra del estudio (test-retest) evidencian una estabilidad adecuada de ambas partes del instrumento, propiedad psicométrica de relevancia científica 14 . ...
Resumen Introducción La participación en actividades del tiempo libre, especialmente el entrenamiento musical, puede ser un posible indicador de la reserva cognitiva (RC) del sujeto. La relevancia de su estudio consiste en comprender el papel que cumple dicho entrenamiento respecto de las funciones cognitivas en el envejecimiento cerebral. Objetivo Se presenta la traducción y la adaptación al medio local del Musical Training Questionnaire y los estudios psicométricos de la versión final en español: Cuestionario de Entrenamiento Musical-Argentina (CEM-A). Sujetos y métodos Doscientos adultos de la población general, de diferente género, de nivel socioeconómico medio, de los cuales 100 presentan entrenamiento musical formal igual o superior a 4 años. La traducción del inglés al español fue efectuada según el método de traducción transcultural. Se administró: cuestionario de datos generales y el CEM-A y se efectuaron estudios de evidencia de validez aparente, de contenido por criterios de sujetos-jueces, de criterio, y el estudio de confiabilidad por test-retest. Resultados Se obtuvo la versión en español del CEM-A que consta de 35 preguntas presentadas en 2 apartados: 1) Preparación musical y 2) Conocimiento musical. Se estudió su evidencia de validez aparente y de contenido (Aiken > 0,82), se obtuvo la evidencia de validez de criterio para los apartados Preparación musical (r = 0,78; p < 0,01) y Conocimiento musical (r = 0,81; p < 0,01), y su confiabilidad (Preparación musical: r = 0,80; p < 0,01; Conocimiento musical: r = 0,84; p < 0,01). Conclusiones El CEM-A resulta una herramienta útil, de fácil aplicación y evaluación, adaptada al medio local, con adecuadas propiedades psicométricas para ser utilizado en estudios cognitivos y psicosociales.
... Los neurocientíficos, explica Collins (2013), han trabajado durante más de dos décadas para comprender cómo el cerebro procesa la música, incide en las emociones y cambia el desarrollo del cerebro. Gran parte de esta investigación se ha fundamentado en comparar la función cerebral de participantes clasificados como músicos y no músicos. ...
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La formación y educación musical en los futuros maestros/as, no solo se dirige a enseña y aprender música, sino a utilizar la música como una herramienta en el aula. Esto no es ninguna novedad, no obstante, es necesario incidir en cómo se comporta el cerebro ante una buena estimulación musical en los niños/as. Nuestra propuesta recoge una pequeña muestra teórica sobre prácticas relacionadas con la música y el cerebro en entornos escolares. Oído, cerebro y sentimientos van de la mano, se señala en un artículo de la revista National Geographic (A.A.V.V., 2019), distinguiendo las capacidades o habilidades de un cerebro musical, como la percepción, el movimiento o coordinación, además de un cerebelo más desarrollado. Estas y otras aportaciones científicas nos llevan a realizar una propuesta de acción didáctica en las aulas, tomando a la música como eje vertebrador y la respuesta cerebral como motor para generar cambios en el aprendizaje. Se ha utilizado una metodología mixta (cualitativa y cuantitativa), fundamentada en la recolección de datos y su valoración posterior. Los resultados muestran, el valor de la música en la educación y la necesidad de desarrollar propuestas musicales por especialistas. Como conclusiones, cabe señalar la posibilidad de nuevos planteamientos formativos y educativos docentes y discentes.
... The importance and relevance of music education in general public schools is defended by multiple authors [5][6][7][8][9]. There are many publications that attribute many developmental benefits to music-cognitive, psychomotor, and socio-emotional [10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17]. However, recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews argue that empirical evidence for the improvement of cognitive and academic skills from music training is rather limited [18][19][20][21][22]. ...
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This paper elaborates on the didactic implementation of musical theater with undergraduate education students. Students had to select, prepare, justify, design, elaborate, rehearse, stage, and record an educational tale that targets ecological and environmental values in its main plot or storyline. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of this didactic proposal went online, and the interactions between students took place through video calls. This study surveyed a sample of 86 participants (n = 86) from a population of 116 students (N = 116) from the Faculty of Education of Albacete (UCLM) to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of carrying out this activity in an online format. The main challenges exposed the complexity of coordinating a team in a completely online format, problems related to physical isolation, and the limited access to a high-quality internet connection. The reported benefits included the development of digital competences, the interactions through social media, and creative thinking. Most students viewed this activity as didactically innovative and 98.84% agreed that musical tales and musical theater can be useful for promoting environmental awareness.
... This approach based on benefits from music education such as improvements in memory and language as well as in the plasticity of the brain. These findings could be used for the evidencebased music education of every child (Collins, 2014). The activation of neuronal patterns involved in response to music listening can reveal are a participant with or without music education (Ribeiro & Thomaz, 2019). ...
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Information technologies allow using modern and timely effective analyses of EEG waves and the methods of data processing that allows effective usage of this method into pedagogically and psychologically oriented researches. Aim of this study was to develop and validate method of EEG signal spectral properties usage in the investigations of the process of cognition in the process of the perception of music by the choice of professional studies. 23 research participants took part in the research-the students of the University of Latvia, the division of participants "non-musician" and "musician". The EEG recording synchronized with the musical signal using the generated synchronization signal that given to one of the unipolar input channels of the EEG equipment. The research analyses the basic rhythm of EEG the changes of the maximum frequency and the wave frequency power in the processes connected with the perception and cognition of music for 15 seconds long intervals. During the time of listening to the chorus songs, the range frequency of the range rhythm of alpha and beta does not change to the musicians but during the time of listening to the instrumental music it increases but it was more vivid in the range of beta frequency. Non-musicians reacted differently-while listening to chorus songs and instrumental music the frequency of alfa waves of EEG increased, but the beta wave frequency decreased. EEG as a method of investigation is recommended for pedagogical research to evaluate the neurological functions in the cognitive processes.
... 25). Along the same lines, Collins (2014) and Odendaal et al., (2018) call for neuroscientists and educators to work collaboratively-from designing studies to discussing and translating research findings. ...
In recent years, there has been an upsurge of research on music and the developing brain. As brain imaging technology becomes more sophisticated, neuroscientists have been able to gain many insights into the developing brain as it perceives and processes musical information. Yet, there is still a fair amount of “misunderstanding, misapprehension, and misapplication” (Croft J, Mind Brain Edu 5(1):5–11, p. 6, 2011) of neuroscientific research in the arts and humanities, as well as in education. In this chapter, we offer a critical review of neuromusical research conducted with children aged 0–8. The chapter is divided into four parts: (1) a brief description EEG and MRI, two brain and the main imaging techniques used with young children; (2) a review of imaging studies published in the past decade (2008–2018) concerning music and young children; (3) the main criticisms associated with the works, coming primarily from scholars in the humanities, arts, and education fields; (4) Implications for research and practice in early childhood.
... voj (Hallam, 2010;Collins, 2013;Hogenes, van Oers i Diekstra, 2014). Upravo su razredni učitelji oni koji mogu svoj djeci omogućiti glazbeno obrazovanje u skladu s propisanim kurikulumom i materijalnim uvjetima škole, a u kojoj će mjeri djeca dobiti priliku za glazbeno obrazovanje najviše ovisi o kompetentnosti učitelja za podučavanje glazbe. ...
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The aim of this paper is to clarify the role of attitudes towards music education in the process of acquiring competences for teaching music of students, future primary school teachers in order to affect on their higher quality of the music education at the faculty and thus improve the quality of music teaching in school. By reviewing the former researches of students' attitudes about music education, it was intended to determine what they depend on, which attitudes may adversely affect the music education in the teaching studies, and whether they can be changed during the study. It has been shown that during the teaching of music in a teaching studies attitudes of students can be changed in a positive direction. However, due to the differences in the conditions of music teaching in teacher studies, as well as the small number of methodological uncoordinated researches, it has not yet been established in what manner and to what extent one can most effectively act toward development of positive attitudes of the students about music education.
... voj (Hallam, 2010;Collins, 2013;Hogenes, van Oers i Diekstra, 2014). Upravo su razredni učitelji oni koji mogu svoj djeci omogućiti glazbeno obrazovanje u skladu s propisanim kurikulumom i materijalnim uvjetima škole, a u kojoj će mjeri djeca dobiti priliku za glazbeno obrazovanje najviše ovisi o kompetentnosti učitelja za podučavanje glazbe. ...
This chapter initially defines how we understand and have used the term ‘the Arts’ to represent discrete but interrelated creative disciplines that include dance, drama, literature, visual arts, music, film and other media. We argue that each art form is a distinctive discipline in its own right, with particular knowledges, language and skills. At the same time, all art forms involve play, experimentation, exploration, provocation, expression, and the artistic or aesthetic shaping of the body or other media to bring together emotions as well as personal, sensory and intellectual experiences (Ewing, Curriculum and assessment: Storylines. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2013). We draw on relevant research and literature to explain why we believe so passionately in the role that quality Arts processes and experiences can and should play in children’s learning from birth throughout their lives and learning journeys. Finally, we discuss the current educational context in many western education systems and introduce the potential that creative interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum may hold for bringing the Arts and education together in exciting ways.
Conference Paper
Music psychologists have established that some forms of musical activity improve intellectual performance, spatial–temporal reasoning and other skills advantageous for learning (Hallam, 2015; Rauscher, 2000; Schellenberg, 2004; Costa-Giomi, 1999, and Graziano, 1999). The research reported here explored the potential of active music making for developing students’ spatial-temporal skills and the role this played in improving their progression in mathematics. The study had an experimental design in which a group of 178 children aged 4-6 participated in a music programme containing a variety of musical, predominantly rhythmical, activities. Taking account of the earlier research which suggested that generalist primary teachers are not confident in delivering music lessons and that they feel inadequately prepared during their teacher training (Rogers et al., 2008, Hallam et al, 2009, OFSTED, 2009, Henley, 2011), the music programme created for the current study was aimed at non-specialist teachers. Based around popular nursery rhymes, the activities were easily accessible even for teachers who were not confident in singing in front of their class. The programme addressed the need for clearly specified progression and provided teachers with guidance about how to assess students’ skills and their advancement. All activities were explicitly suited for Foundation Stage (FS) and KS1 pupils and were arranged to promote a range of competencies. To make it accessible for schools, the programme did not require any equipment, resources or staffing which would stretch schools’ budgets. The programme lasted two years and throughout the intervention pupils’ attainment in mathematics, spatial – temporal reasoning, and music was recorded. This included assessment of specific mathematical and musical skills. Parallel classes made up control groups. Attainment in all areas of measurement was compared between groups to examine the impact of music instruction on learning mathematics. The findings demonstrated that the younger music groups achieved statistically significantly greater progression in mathematics over time than their peers from the control groups. This relationship was observed in the main study and in the combined groups. These results paralleled statistically significantly greater achievement in one or both spatial – temporal tests. The older groups also recorded statistically significant differences in outcomes in one or both spatial – temporal tests in all three periods of measurement. These scores were related to higher attainment in mathematics but this change as scores was not sizeable enough to reach statistical significance. When results in specific mathematical skills were considered, only some of them were related to the musical training. The most basic mathematical skills like number recognition to 10, counting to 10 and to 20 were not impacted on by participation in music lessons. Skills related to geometry, 2D and 3D shapes, attributes of shapes, and symmetry patterns, were closely related with the music programme. This was the result of the impact of the music instruction on spatial-temporal abilities. The strong relationship between musical training and arithmetic skills, for example, addition and subtraction, using number line, and problem solving was an unexpected finding. However, as these tasks require mathematical skills related to spatial abilities like number sense and strategy choice, the enhancement of spatial-temporal skills through participation in the rhythmic instruction is likely to have influenced these higher levels of mathematical attainment. The results of the current study cast light on how musical, spatial-temporal, and mathematical skills are intertwined and explored how the music programme might be useful in learning in specific areas of mathematics whilst feeding into the overall mathematical development. These findings provide theoretical and pedagogical knowledge to inform teaching practice. The inexpensive and easy to deliver music programme could enable teachers, who lack confidence in teaching music, to engage their early years and Yr1 pupils in musical activities which would also support the development of mathematical skills.
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This paper reviews teachers’ attitudes towards creativity in the curriculum. Innovation skills are increasingly sought after and the understandings teachers hold regarding creativity development is crucial. What teachers do in classrooms is the most important component in creativity education but is often the neglected aspect in this consideration. This study examines the predispositions and attitudes which shape teachers’ work by analysing responses to a set of 24 statements distilled from a larger concourse of conversations on creativity in the curriculum. The study found that teachers’ understanding of cognitive strategies for innovation and an understanding of the most conducive social and academic environment were less strong than their knowledge about conative and affective factors. The study also found that standardised testing was perceived to be a major inhibitor of creative practice in the classroom.
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In recent times neurosciences have become extremely attractive to all kinds of people: researchers, psychologists, politicians, musicians, music educators, and teachers. What has happened that this new branch could develop so quickly? First, in neuroscience a sophisticated technology provides us with new brain imaging techniques (EEG, MEG, Pet Scan, fMRI) that give us access to observing the active brain. Second, new research projects have demonstrated fascinating insight into the processing brain which have produced a new understanding of the procedures engaged in learning and understanding. Third and finally, teachers have discovered the brain as sort of hard-ware which has to be wired appropriately, and they realized that music teaching needs to be based on a solid foundation of the mental state instead of focusing on a mere hope that music do something good to the brain (will make our children smarter)! Within this triangle of arguments - accessible technologies, recent research findings, and
Playing, listening to and creating music involves pratically every cognitive function. Robert Zatorre, neuroscientist, explains how music can teach us about speech, brain plasticity and even the origins of emotion.