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Music making improves executive

function skills

Executive function is one of greatest predictors of life success. Two of the main components of executive function are working memory and inhibitory control.


Inhibitory control

When children very young, music can encourage them to be physically active, but it can also persuade them to control their movements to listen quietly, or wait until just the right moment to play their instrument.  This is when music aids inhibitory controls, which are essentially methods of self-restraint.  For example, stopping yourself from interrupting someone is an inhibitory control, sitting down to work instead of running around noisily involves inhibitory control.  The connection between music and inhibitory control enables children to focus on other learning activities as well for longer periods. 


Working memory

Musicians use many forms of memory when practicing, performing.  Music can be an incredible vehicle for retaining vast amounts of associated information.  We are genetically predisposed to remember long, complicated musical sequences better than text.

A recent study at Hong Kong university found children with music training demonstrated better verbal memory than children without it.

Music Makes Your Child Smarter, Philip Sheppard

Learning from Young Children: Research in Early Childhood Music, Suzanne Burton, and Cynthia Crump Taggart

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