Musical training in childhood improves literacy skills

I’ve mentioned before that musical training seems to help with language skills, and a recent American study has made progress into the specifics of the notion that ‘music makes you smarter’.

Children exposed to a multi-year programme of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers, according to a study published today in the journal Psychology of Music, published by SAGE.

According to authors Joseph M Piro and Camilo Ortiz from Long Island University, USA, data from this study will help to clarify the role of music study on cognition and shed light on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy.

Both the control group and the musically-trained group showed similar results after the second group had already undergone two years of musical training.  There are several theories as to what this means, but the authors of the study are quite confident that multiple years of musical training have a strong positive effect on vocabulary and and reading skills.

Full article from Eurekalert.