International Music Research

NAMM Foundation Provide Music Resources to People Advocating for more Music Making in the community.

The NAMM Foundation is a great source of advocacy resources, including news of latest music research, with a handy list of cited facts and quotes to help people make a case for supporting music education in schools. Or simply to use when spreading your own positive messages about music making. Feel free to share the link to this page or to print and share this PDF.

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February 2015

Musical Training As A Child Can Boost Your Brainpower By 20% In Later Life, Music Research Finds | Daily Mail Online (UK)

Musical training in before you are fourteen can boost your brainpower significantly in later life, a major new study has found.

Researchers found older adults who had musical training in their youth were 20% faster in identifying speech sounds than their non-musician peers.

Researchers say this can make a major difference as we grow older.

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September 2014

Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois believe that musical training plays an important role in educational achievement.

The music research study was conducted by the university’s auditory neuroscience laboratory after a tip from Margaret Martin, founder of the non-profit Harmony Project in Los Angeles noticed that 90% of her students graduated, while 50% or more from the same neighborhoods did not.

Radio interview here – Music lessons and community music programs can boost learning and reading skills, even among at-risk youth, according to new research.   The lead researcher shares the ways music can boost our brains.

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What music — specifically, learning to play music — does to humans

Friday, July 30, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer

Re posted from NAMM Foundation

(NaturalNews) Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a review of research into what music — specifically, learning to play music — does to humans. The result shows music training does far more than allow us to entertain ourselves and others by playing an instrument or singing. Instead, it actually changes our brains.

The paper, just published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, is a compilation of research findings from scientists all over the world who used all kinds of research methods. The bottom line to all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other skills including speech and language, memory and attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally.

So what is it that musical training does? According to the Northwestern scientists, the findings strongly indicate it adds new neural connections — and that primes the brain for other forms of human communication.

In fact, actively working with musical sounds enhances neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and change. “A musician’s brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound. In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean,” Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature paper and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, explained in a statement to the media. “The efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication.”

For example, researchers have found that musicians are better than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Their brains also appear to be primed to comprehend speech in a noisy background.

What’s more, children who have had music lessons tend to have a larger vocabulary and better reading ability than youngsters who haven’t had any musical training. And children with learning disabilities, who often have a hard time focusing when there’s a lot of background noise, may be especially helped by music lessons. “Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise,” Dr. Kraus stated.

The Northwestern researchers concluded their findings make a case for including music in school curriculums. “The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development,” they wrote.

In addition to musical training, listening to music has also been shown to have some remarkable beneficial effects on the body. For example, as NaturalNews has previously reported, Tel Aviv University scientists found that premature infants exposed to thirty minutes of Mozart’s music daily grew far more rapidly than premature babies not exposed to classical music (…) and researchers at the University of Florence in Italy documented that listening to classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music once a day for four weeks significantly reduced the blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension (…).

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Good Sources

The Guardian publishes insightful articles at this link regularly.

The International Society of Music Educators (ISME)

The NAMM Foundation