For Source information, return
to Why Music? Links and Info Page
- Reprinted with permission from "The Parent's Guide: Getting
- Out Of Your Child's Band or Orchestral Experience"
published by The
- Selmer Company.
- Children Taught With New Curriculum
Combining Math and Music Score Higher
on Test of Advanced Math Skills and
- Stanford 9
- M.I.N.D. Institute shows building math education on
- understanding of the brain helps children comprehend
- advanced concepts at earlier ages and improve their
- Stanford 9 math scores
- Irvine, Calif. (February 24, 2000): A curriculum combining
- lessons, educational math software and fun math problems can
- second graders achieve scores on certain tests comparable to
- graders, according to studies by the Music Intelligence
- Development (MIND) Institute.
- The curriculum uses piano instruction to enhance the brain's
- learn, then allows children to apply that mental acuity toward
- problems, said Gordon Shaw, physicist and president of the
- Institute-a nonprofit group dedicated to research that uses
music as a
- window into higher brain function.
- In the studies, second-graders from 95th Street Preparatory
- inner-city Los Angeles were compared with fourth and fifth
- an Orange County school with a higher socioeconomic level.
- students took the advanced math concepts exams, which tested
- problem-solving ability, in 1999.
- Second graders who received piano training, used the software
- practiced math puzzles and exercises every week attained
- comparable to fourth graders. Half of these second graders
scored in the
- top 20th percentile of the nationwide Stanford 9 test in math,
- students achieved scores on the advanced math concepts
- comparable to the Orange County fifth graders.
- "These are exciting results, and show the potential of
- and math," said Shaw, professor emeritus of physics at UC
- goal is to show that any school can get the results we
obtained, and it can
- be done economically."
- So how does it work?
- For 45 minutes two days a week, students get piano instruction
- music teacher at school. Then they use computers to play an
- game developed by the study's lead author and neuroscientist,
- Peterson. They play the game, called Spatial-Temporal
- Reasoning (STAR) for 45 minutes on another two days a week.
- day a week, their classroom teacher leads a math integration
- which students do brain-stretching problems aloud. These
lessons add to
- the regular math curriculum--they do not supplant it, Shaw
- Piano instruction is thought to enhance the brain's
- spatial-temporal reasoning, or the ability to visualize and
- objects in space and time, Shaw said. Music involves ratios,
- proportions and thinking in space and time. In a way, music
- brain to learn otherwise tough concepts for kids.
- At the same time, when children use the STAR software, they
are led on
- geometric and math adventures by a penguin called
- that boost their ability to manipulate shapes in their minds.
- teachers bring the music and puzzles together for their math
- lessons, tying the concepts into standard math lessons that
- a language approach. The children learn to enjoy exploring
- of fearing making math mistakes.
- Students taught with the curriculum demonstrated a heightened
- think ahead, Peterson said. "They were able to leap ahead
- on problems--in their heads," he noted.
- MIND Institute researchers used the advanced math concepts
- tested skills in symmetry, graphs, fractions, pre-algebra
- proportional math, to evaluate the children's learning. These
- all matched to topics covered in the state math standards for
- through 5.
- The findings are of major importance because a grasp of
- math and fractions is a prerequisite to math at higher levels,
- who do not master these areas of math cannot understand
- critical to high-tech fields. This type of math is ordinarily
taught in grade
- Four Los Angeles-area schools now use the curriculum, bringing
- and math to 380 second-graders. The MIND Institute hopes to
- 10 schools in the next school year, with second- and
- curricula. The institute also hopes to eventually expand the
- grades K-5.
- The MIND study, which is being submitted for publication, is
- latest in a series linking musical training to the learning
- studies based on a mathematical model of the cortex predicted
- music training would enhance spatial-temporal reasoning, and a
- study showed that preschool children given six months of
- keyboard lessons improved dramatically on such reasoning. A
- study combined piano keyboard lessons with STAR to show that
- graders at the 95th Street school could master advanced math
- through spacial-temporal methods. By adding the math
- lessons, the present study ties into students' standard math
- The major results for second graders are now measured in
- increased written test scores that are comparable to those of
- fifth graders at a school with a higher socioeconomic status.
- second graders also achieved high scores on the nationwide
- math test.
- The MIND Institute recently opened new offices in Irvine. The
- a community-based, nonprofit scientific research institute
- is to explore relationships among music, reasoning and the
brain to the
- benefit of society in education and medicine. For more
- consult the institute's website at www.MINDInst.org.
- Source: http://www.mindinst.org
berksmusic.com Music Education Links
Return to berksmusic.com Main