Secret to Dramatically Improving Intelligence
Parents take heart. If weekly music lessons show no sign of turning your kid into a young Leonard Bernstein, They could be stoking the talents of a future Marie Curie or Galileo.
Just 15 minutes a week of private keyboard instruction, along with group singing at pre-school, dramatically improved a kind of intelligence needed for high-level math and science, suggests a recent study.
Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build new spatial reasoning, says psychologist Frances Rauscher of University of California-Irvine.
“Music instruction can improve a child’s spatial intelligence for long periods of time – perhaps permanently, ” Rauscher told the American Psychological Association meeting here.
Her study compared 19 pre-schoolers who took the lessons and 14 classmates enrolled in no special music programs.
After eight months, she found:
A 46% boost in spatial IQ’s for the young musicians
6% improvement for children not taught music
“If parents can’t afford lessons, they should at least buy a musical keyboard…. or sing regularly with their kids and involve them in musical activities,” Rauscher says.
She’s next going to test grade-schoolers. “If we can show it enhances spatial IQ in primary kids, this is a very powerful method to assure that every child reaches his or her potential in math and science,” Rauscher says.