Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Psychol., 21 December 2012 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00572

Effects of a school-based instrumental music program on verbal and visual memory in primary school children: a longitudinal study

  • 1Department of Music, Carl von Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany
  • 2Department of Psychology, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

This study examined the effects of a school-based instrumental training program on the development of verbal and visual memory skills in primary school children. Participants either took part in a music program with weekly 45 min sessions of instrumental lessons in small groups at school, or they received extended natural science training. A third group of children did not receive additional training. Each child completed verbal and visual memory tests three times over a period of 18 months. Significant Group by Time interactions were found in the measures of verbal memory. Children in the music group showed greater improvements than children in the control groups after controlling for children’s socio-economic background, age, and IQ. No differences between groups were found in the visual memory tests. These findings are consistent with and extend previous research by suggesting that children receiving music training may benefit from improvements in their verbal memory skills.

Keywords: music lessons, music training, verbal memory, visual memory, cognitive development, children, longitudinal study

Citation: Roden I, Kreutz G and Bongard S (2012) Effects of a school-based instrumental music program on verbal and visual memory in primary school children: a longitudinal study. Front. Psychology 3:572. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00572

Received: 05 October 2012; Accepted: 04 December 2012;
Published online: 21 December 2012.

Edited by:

Claude Alain, Rotman Research Institute, Canada

Reviewed by:

Theodor Rueber, Bonn University Hospital, Germany
Shinya Fujii, Harvard Medical School, USA

Copyright: © 2012 Roden, Kreutz and Bongard. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Ingo Roden, Department of Music, Carl von Ossietzky University, Ammerländer Heerstraße 114-118, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany. e-mail: ingo.roden@t-online.de

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