Dr. Gordon Shaw Opens M.I.N.D. Institute
Source: AMC Music News, American Music Conference
On March 2 Dr. Gordon Shaw officially opened the new
offices of the Music Intelligence Neural Development
(M.I.N.D.) Institute in Irvine (California). The new
headquarters will house the research team that developed
the Spatial-Temporal Animation Reasoning (STAR)
software that has been so successful, combined with music
lessons, in teaching kids proportional math.
In a press release dated February 24, 2000, Dr. Shaw
explained that a curriculum combining piano lessons,
educational math software and fun math problems can
help second graders achieve scores on certain tests
comparable to fourth graders, according to studies by the
Music Intelligence Neural Development (MIND) Institute.
The curriculum uses piano instruction to enhance the
brain's ability to learn, then allows children to apply that
mental acuity toward math problems. In the studies,
second-graders from 95th Street Preparatory School in
inner-city Los Angeles were compared with fourth and
fifth graders from an Orange County (CA) school with a
higher socioeconomic level. The students took the
advanced math concepts exams, which tested math
problem-solving ability, in 1999.
For 45 minutes two days a week, students got piano
instruction from a music teacher at school. Then they used
computers to play an educational game developed by the
study's lead author and neuroscientist, Matthew Peterson.
They play the game, called STAR, for 45 minutes on another
two days a week. And, one day a week, their classroom
teacher leads a math integration lesson, in which students
do brain-stretching problems aloud.
Second graders who received piano training, used the
software and practiced math puzzles and exercises every
week attained scores comparable to fourth graders. Half
of these second graders scored in the top 20th percentile of
the nationwide Standford 9 test in math, and these students
achieved scores on the advanced math concepts exams
comparable to the Orange County fifth graders.
For more information, check out the institute's website at
http://www. MINDInst.org.


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