What's the Latest Development?

Making music improves children's ability to relate to each other and to use their intellect in problem-solving situations, according to a new study out of the School of Psychology at the University of West London. "The children in the study were randomly assigned to either a 'Music' Group (Group 1) or a 'No Music' Group (Group 2). Children in Group 1 (Music) sang and played the percussion bullfrog and children in Group 2 (No Music) listened to a story. These sequences were then followed by two games a 'Co-operation' game and a 'Helping' game. The children's problem solving ability was tested by observing their reactions during the 'Helping' game."

What's the Big Idea?

The results of the study suggest that group-oriented creative tasks, especially that of making music, can benefit children's social and critical education: "Music improved helpfulness for both girls and boys with children in the 'Music' group over thirty times more likely to help than those in the 'No Music' group. ... Making music was also shown to improve co-operation among all the children in the 'Music Group' who were six times more likely to co-operate than those in the 'No Music' Group." Researchers said such benefits were likely to help pupils with learning differences and emotional difficulties to feel less isolated in the school environment. 

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