Research from the University of Hong Kong provides evidence
that music soothes more than just the "savage beast," a quote
attributed to William Congreve in the 1697 play "The
Mourning Bride." If the researchers' findings are any
indication, this quote could also refer to the recovery of
brain injury patients.
journal Neuropsychology describes a study of a group
of 90 schoolchildren (6-15 years of age). Half received musical
training in their school's string orchestra between one and
five years' duration; the other half obtained no musical training.
Verbal memory was tested by reading each subject a word list
and checking to see how many words were remembered -10 minutes
after the reading and 30 minutes after the reading. The same
test was performed again, but with images replacing the words.
Children with musical training recalled and retained significantly
more words than those without the training.
As far as researcher Dr. Agnes Chan is concerned, the instrument
or music type is not as material as the learning process in
assisting verbal training. She feels this could be the basis
of a new approach to helping those with memory loss after
So, think twice before turning off that "noise," your children
are listening to (or producing themselves). It may be hurting
your ears, but it could also be helping them build better
Ho YC, Cheung MC, Chan AS.
Music training improves verbal but not visual memory: Cross-sectional
and longitudinal explorations in children. S. Chan, Ph.D.
Neuropsychology 2003: Volume 17, Number 3, pp.439-50.
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