Are kids who take music lessons different from other kids?
But making a child learn a musical instrument to boost their academic achievement is a waste of money, according to scientists. Although research has shown that youngsters who take music lessons are more likely to be top of their class, a psychologist claims this link is misleading. Instead, improved academic performance may be because brighter children from privileged backgrounds are more likely to learn an instrument, rather than music classes helping to boost their intelligence. Music may change you a bit, but its also the case that different children take music lessons, said Professor Glenn Schellenberg of the University of Toronto, who added that parents education was the most influential factor on musicality. He told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Boston: Children who take music lessons come from families with higher incomes, they come from families with more educated parents, they also do more extra-curricular activities, they have higher IQs, and they do better at school. In tests on 167 children who played piano or other instruments, they found their answer to personality tests could predict how likely it was for them to continue their music lessons. Those who were more outgoing and conscientious were more likely to continue to play. Although children who took music lessons did better at school, when the researchers adjusted the results to take into account their social background, there was no link to increased intelligence.
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Get piano lessons with Media Theatre’s new Music Director
In this study, Schellenberg gave the theory that music training makes kids smarter a reality check by asking whether pre-existing differences in personality could explain why musically trained children have substantially higher IQs and perform better in school than other kids. “I wanted to stop this madness of making exaggerated claims about the intellectual benefits of music training,” he says. In separate groups of 167 10- to 12-year-olds and 118 university undergraduates, he looked at how individual differences in cognitive ability and personality predict who takes music lessons and for how long. The study measured the Big Five personality dimensions: openness-to-experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion and neuroticism. Among the children, openness-to-experience and conscientiousness predicted the likelihood of taking music lessons and persisting, while openness-to-experience was the best predictor of involvement in music lessons. Those personality traits also helped to explain why musically trained children tend to earn higher grades in school than peers without music training, and do better academically than would be expected from their IQ scores. Among undergraduates, those with higher levels of openness-to-experience studied music longer during childhood and adolescence.
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The schedule will be determined by each student and Scott Anthony, who started his own lessons at the age of four. In 2006, he received his BM in Piano Performance from Catholic University, studying with Emmy-winning artist Marilyn Neeley. He has also worked under the tutelage of Bruce Murray at the Brevard Music Festival and recently studied with Harvey Weeden at Temple University, where he received his Masters in Piano Performance. Scott Anthony is no stranger to MMTC, having been a part of its orchestra pits during the run of Wings as second keyboard and also enjoying the same during Spamalot. He moves into the position of Music Director for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which plays Nov.
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