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ERIC Number: EJ912414
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0004-9484
Benefits of a Classroom Based Instrumental Music Program on Verbal Memory of Primary School Children: A Longitudinal Study
Rickard, Nikki S.; Vasquez, Jorge T.; Murphy, Fintan; Gill, Anneliese; Toukhsati, Samia R.
Australian Journal of Music Education, n1 p36-47 2010
Previous research has demonstrated a benefit of music training on a number of cognitive functions including verbal memory performance. The impact of school-based music programs on memory processes is however relatively unknown. The current study explored the effect of increasing frequency and intensity of classroom-based instrumental training program on verbal and visual memory across a two year period. Data from 142 participants were analysed: 82 (41 female (F), 41 male (M); mean age 8.62 years) allocated to the intensive strings music training program and 68 (37F, 31M; mean age 8.79 years) allocated to the control group (usual music classes). The Children's Memory Scale was used to test digit span, verbal learning and immediate and delayed verbal memory. Immediate visual recall was tested using the Benton Visual Designs test. Mixed model ANOVAs revealed that students receiving the intensive music training program exhibited significantly better learning and immediate recall for verbal information, after approximately one year, but not two years, after implementation of the program than did controls. No such benefit was observed following one year of a similarly novel juggling program in a sub-set of the sample. As anticipated, the intensive music training had no effect on visual memory, although an improvement in visual perceptual ability and digit span recall was observed in the first year also. The current findings have implications for educational programs (such as literacy training) which may benefit from transient improvements in verbal memory. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Australian Society for Music Education. P.O. Box 5, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9925-7807; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Digit Span Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A