The Jakarta Post
A new study has found that music lessons can significantly enhance children’s cognitive abilities, which in turn leads to improved academic performance. (Shutterstock/Joe N)
According to a new study, making sure your child attends afterschool lessons might be crucial to their development.
The study, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, found that structured music lessons could significantly enhance children’s cognitive abilities, including language-based reasoning, short-term memory, planning and inhibition, which in turn leads to improved academic performance.
“Despite indications that music has beneficial effects on cognition, music is disappearing from general education curricula,” Dr. Artur Jaschke, from VU University of Amsterdam, told Neuroscience News. “This inspired us to initiate a long-term study on the possible effects of music education on cognitive skills that may underlie academic achievement.”
Dr. Jaschke led the study alongside Dr. Henkjan Honing and Dr. Erik Scherder, and with their team studied 147 Dutch schoolchildren.
The children followed the normal primary school curriculum, but some went to supplementary visual art classes, while some went to music. It was found that the children who took music lessons had significant cognitive improvements compared to all other children in the study.
Similarly, the children who attended visual art lessons had significantly improved visual and spatial short-term memory when compared to students who did not go to extra lessons.
“Children who received music lessons showed improved language-based reasoning and the ability to plan, organize and complete tasks, as well as improved academic achievement,” said Dr. Jaschke. “This suggests that the cognitive skills developed during music lessons can influence children’s cognitive abilities in completely unrelated subjects, leading to overall improved academic performance.
“Both music and arts classes are supposed to be applied throughout all Dutch primary schools by the year 2020,” continued Dr. Jaschke. “But considering our results, we hope that this study will support political developments to reintegrate music and arts education into schools around the world.” (sul/wng)