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Another Study Confirms Learning Music Increases IQ

30 October 2009 One Comment

Learning a musical instrument can be used as a therapy for enhancing brain’s cognitive abilities, reveals a new study.

It is a known fact that musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians and areas of the brain used to process music are larger or more active in musicians.

Lead researcher Lutz Jancke, a member of Faculty of 1000 Medicine, proposes using music in neuropsychological therapy, for example to improve language skills, memory, or mood.

For children especially we found that learning to play the piano, for instance, teaches them to be more self-disciplined, more attentive and better at planning,” Jancke said.

While writing in Faculty of 1000 Biology Reports, Jancke said that even just starting to learn a musical instrument can change the neurophysiology of the brain. Research suggests that practising scales and chords and mastering complex patterns of notes changes the shape of the brain. It can even boost IQ by as much as seven points.

The parts of the brain that control motor skills, hearing and memory become larger and more active when a person learns how to play an instrument. Alertness, planning and the ability to read emotions also improve. Essentially the architecture of the brain changes.

“If music has such a strong influence on brain plasticity this raises the question of whether this effect can be used to enhance cognitive performance. We found that even in people over the age of 65 after four or five months of playing for an hour a week there were strong changes in the brain.” Jancke said. “Hopefully, the current trend in the use of musicians as a model for brain plasticity will continue … and extend to the field of neuropsychological rehabilitation.”

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One Comment »

  • scott head said:

    Who cares about IQ? Your IQ is nothing more than a label for educational purposes! In the “real-world” your IQ is useless and is thus rendered meaningless; unless you are looking to compare brain pans on an intellectual website.
    I am guessing here, but the idea is for this article is to show the value of music in terms of increasing intelligence, improving education aptitude and helping special needs children?

    Look, as a construction superintendent, I could have cared less what a persons IQ was, nor did I care what their GPA was. I did care if they had great recommendations which focussed on work ethic and initiative. As a teacher now, I spend hours attempting to motivate students who are apathetic to the idea of education. American education is so far beyond revolutionary fixes (I.E. music programs), that a long term evolutionary change must be done.

    On a personal note. My son is Autistic and Deaf. So, I completely understand the emotional need for your program, but the analysis of your data, in terms of IQ is what’s wrong with American education. We spend way to much time focussing on grades and aptitude scoring, that we have forgotten what has gotten America to where it is in the world! (Hard Work, Creativity and Ingenuity). So, point the power of music in terms of work ethic, a never quit attitude and American pride and I would say your on to something.

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