Improv Quotes of the Day: Music, the Brain, and Education

Left and Right Brain

Quote excerpts from articles on the web site of the Dana Foundation (“Your gateway to information about the brain and brain research”) – found after doing a search for “music”:

Music has always been integral to education. Our ancestors knew this intuitively. Yet in our own time, music and education have parted ways in many school systems. As music came to be regarded as art – as opposed to a natural and instinctive human activity – it has been treated as a luxury rather than a necessity. My own bias makes me sure that is loss to general education is one important reason for the poor state of learning about which we complain year after year. This book is the story of how one school district and a woodwind quintet brought music back to school in a new and modern way, and, by doing so, may have helped turn mediocre learning performance into high achievement.

–from A Well-Tempered Mind: Using Music to Help Children Listen and Learn by Peter Perret and Janet Fox

Scholar Ellen Dissanayake… claimed from an ethnological stance that creation and appreciation of art more generally are advanced adaptive behaviors that are key to social survival (my italics). –from “Musical Creativity and the Brain” by Monica Lopez-Gonzalez and Charles Limb (2-22-12)

Music training in childhood improves related cognitive function. … [research] shows that children who receive weekly music instruction and practice regularly perform better on sound discrimination and fine motor tasks. … The arts have a positive impact on your cognitive life. … Children who studied music intensively performed better on geometry tasks. … [also] better on map-reading tests… Children as young as 4 months seem to inherently connect geometry with sound… If an infant hears music, the melodic processing may lead to new forms of visual processing. This may form the basis for the relationship between math and music later on. –from Music Training Changes Brain Networks by Ben Mauk (5-11-09)