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The Child as MusicianA handbook of musical development$
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Gary E. McPherson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744443.001.0001

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Music and nonmusical abilities

Music and nonmusical abilities

(p.149) Chapter 8 Music and nonmusical abilities
The Child as Musician

E. Glenn Schellenberg

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines whether exposure to music is associated with nonmusical abilities. Such exposure includes music listening and formal training in music. Performance on tests of cognitive abilities can be enhanced after listening to music, but these effects are due to positive changes in emotional state. Effects of listening to background music while engaged in a cognitive activity are poorly understood because multiple factors are involved. Taking music lessons in childhood is associated positively with verbal and visuospatial abilities, as well as with memory and IQ. Although experimental studies indicate that music lessons can cause small increases in cognitive abilities, the large associations observed in real-world contexts must be attributable, at least in part, to pre-existing differences in music aptitude, general cognitive abilities, and/or personality.

Keywords:   music lessons, music training, music aptitude, IQ, personality, intelligence, cognition, personality

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