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TO: FROM: DATE: SUBJECT

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Instructor M Com 320 Student July 10, 2012 Music Instruction and its Diverse Extra-Musical Benefits
Comment [L1]: Do you need to change the date?

People have hypothesized for many years that music training can provide nonmusical benefits. In the article Music Instruction and its Diverse Extra-Musical Benefits, Frances H. Rauscher and Sean C. Hinton expand upon various studies that they conducted. These studies give evidence that music instruction provides extra-musical benefits. In this memo, I will summarize studies that provide evidence that music instruction enhances (a) spatial-temporal reasoning, (b) numerical reasoning, and (c) phonemic reasoning (see Figure 1). Spatial-Temporal Reasoning

Spatial-temporal Reasoning

Numerical Reasoning

Phonemic Reasoning

Music Instruction
Figure 1 Music instruction enhances spatial-temporal reasoning, numerical reasoning and phonemic reasoning.

Comment [L2]: Would it be helpful to list here the number of studies you are using? Comment [L3]: You may want to change this “that” to “about how” or another synonymous phrase to avoid having two “that”s in the same sentence (especially so close to each other). Comment [L4]: This should be on the same line as “phonemic reasoning” above it (when I tried to move it the formatting freaked out, so I’ll let you do that).

Rauscher and Hinton conducted studies among preschool children that give evidence thatshow how music instruction enhances spatial-temporal reasoning. Spatial-temporal reasoning refers to the ability to mentally manipulate a visualized spatial pattern over time. This type of reasoning is used to help solve multi-step problems. In one particular study, Rauscher took 78 preschool students and assigned them to four different groups: piano and group singing instruction, group singing instruction, computer instruction, or no-instruction. The instruction groups were given several months of training. Each group took pretests and then posttests in Object Assembly, Geometric Design, Block Design, and Animal Pegs. Object Assembly is a spatial-temporal reasoning task and the other three are spatial-recognition tasks. Results: Pretest scores were not significantly varied between the groups. However, Aafter months of instruction, the children in the piano and group singing instruction group received significantly higher scores on the spatial-temporal reasoning posttest than the children in other groups. All of the children scored similarly on the spatial-recognition posttest. Numerical Reasoning In another study, 100 Head Start preschool students were each assigned to piano, singing, rhythm, or no instruction groups. The children in the instruction groups received instruction for 48 weeks over a twoyear period. All the children were given 26 different pre and posttests. I will focus on the scores of the arithmetic subtest for the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC). The Head Start preschool students’ scores were compared to at-risk preschool students’ and middle income students’ scores. Results: The Head Start students in the music groups scored comparably to the middle-income students on the arithmetic posttests. The at-risk students and the Head Start students without musical training scored significantly lower on the arithmetic posttest than the Head Start students in the music groups and middle-income students. The rhythm group scored considerably higher on the arithmetic posttest than any of the other groups (see Figure 2).

Comment [L5]: I have absolutely no idea what this means. You might need to take another sentence to explain spatial-temporal reasoning in plain English, or you could give an example of a use of spatial-temporal reasoning. Saying multi-step problems is a start to an example, your reader will need a little more detail as to what kind of problems. Comment [L6]: You could also switch this sentence around a little to make it simpler. Ie. “Each instruction group took tests in Object….and Animal Pegs before and after their training to observe learning growth.” (and you can change learning growth to whatever the researchers were observing)

Comment [L7]: You don’t define numerical reasoning in this section like you defined spatialtemporal reasoning. Giving a quick definition and relating it to arithmetic will help your reader to follow your reasoning for choosing the K-ABC test in your memo. Comment [L8]: Was this study conducted by the same researchers? Comment [L9]: Does the study include how many days each week? Comment [L10]: You may want to move this sentence to the beginning of the results section.

Preschool Study

Phonemic Reasoning

In another study, Rauscher and Hinton also tested phonemic awareness in a study with . Here they took 75 children, each five years of age. The children’s parents put the children in one of the following groups: Suzuki violin instruction, swimming lessons, or no training. The children were given 16 weeks of training for 45 minutes per week. Before the training, the children took the Predictive Assessment of Reading (PAR) whichthat contains many different subtests including two phonemic awareness subtests. After the 16 weeks of training, these75 children took the assessment again. Results: The children who received violin instruction for 16 weeks scored significantly higher on the phonemic awareness test than the students without music training. This shows evidence that musical training helps phonemic reasoning and may also help with reading acquisition. Questions Many questions were brought up and discussed in this article regarding music training and extra-musical benefits. I will discuss the following questions further in my business briefing on this subject: 1. Is the age that musical training is started important? 2. Does the quality of musical instruction matter? 3. Does the income of the parent or the background of the child affect test scores? 4. Does the length of time a child spends learning a musical instrument affect the extra-musical benefits? The above studies show data that support the idea that musical education’s ability to can improve certain types of reasoning skills. In each of these studies, children who received instruction in music scored higher on assessments regarding spatial-temporal reasoning, numerical reasoning, or and phonemic reasoning than children who did not receive musical instruction. Although other questions arise from these studies, the results establish a foundation for more research on the subject.

* 140 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 Figure50K-ABC arithmetic subtest scores. All groups shown scored significantly higher 2 Middle-Income Piano Singing than at-risk and Head Start students. The asterisk indicates significant Rhythm from the differences other groups. Group
Standard Score

Comment [L11]: Since you already used “in another study” to introduce your last section, switching this introduction will help keep your wording fresh. Plus, it allows you to combine the information in your first 2 sentences.

Comment [L12]: This is a picky English thing, but “which” is used to introduce a non restrictive clause and “that” is used to introduce a restrictive clause. If you want to read more about it, look here: http://www.kentlaw.edu/academics/lrw/grinker/Lwta That_Versus_Which.htm Comment [L13]: Though this is an interesting bit of information, but you haven’t defined phonemic reasoning as related to reading acquisition yet. Right now it seems irrelevant. Similar to the last section, if you define phonemic reasoning as related to reading, then you can include this part of the sentence. Comment [L14]: These two things are basically the same so it’s redundant to use both. Choose your favorite one. Comment [L15]: You may consider rephrasing this question to match the same sentence structure as the other three questions. Ie. “Does the age at which musical training is started affect mental growth?” Comment [L16]: The third and fourth questions are perfect because they set up a variable and an effect. You don’t list effects for the first two questions, making them hard to prove and even harder to write about without having a 50 page paper per question. Try to focus these questions. Besides, the quality of musical instruction OBVIOUSLY matters…. Comment [L17]: I changed “and” to “or” here because each of the studies tested something different. Comment [L18]: On what subject? Be more specific here, especially because it’s your conclusion. Comment [L19]: Overall, this is a very interesting subject. If you are really going to use this as a jumping point for a bigger paper, you will probably only be able to write about one or two of the questions you have listed unless you seriously focus them. Hopefully these hundreds of comments help. If you have any questions, please call me or email me! I’ll be around. Good luck, girl!