Musical learning and cognitive performance

According to literature, there are broad associations between music and cognitive abilities, which apparently result from the frequency of music lessons. The aim of the present work was to test these associations between a group of music students and a control group of students with no music education, thereby contributing toward understanding the link between music learning, intelligence, and academic achievement. The Battery of Reasoning Tests (BPR/7-9), collated for the Portuguese population, as well as the academic classifications of two groups of students, provided the basis for this study’s quantitative analysis. The sample population comprised students who frequented Year 7 of the basic music course in specialist music education and of the basic course in mainstream education (no music lessons). Compared with the students in the control group, those in the groups which included formal music education showed increases in their general capacity of reasoning (g factor) and in tasks of spatial and numerical reasoning. Equally, there were increases in academic achievement. The results suggest that the duration of exposure to music lessons is associated with an increased intelligence and increased academic achievement.

Year 2009
Type Conference Proceeding
Publication International Symposium on Performance Science
Pages 349-354
Publisher European Association of Conservatoires (AEC)
Local Utrecht, The Netherlands
Ed/Org Aaron Williamon, Sharman Pretty, and Ralph Buck
ISBN / ISSN 978-94-90306-01-4
Language English