New Evidence Demonstrates That Music Sparks Learning
by Nancy Garduno, age 13
Scientists recently studied the effects of harmonics to pinpoint why music impresses some and disappoints others. Along the way, they made an interesting discovery. The researchers organized a 250-student survey at the University of Minnesota. The study analyzed music choices. Among the students surveyed western, classical, and popular brands of music were commonly preferred over tonal pieces.
The results showed that those listeners with years of music study and training tended to enjoy a wider variety of music. This indicates that the experience of enjoying music can be learned.
Similar studies have allowed scientists to compare and contrast musical traditions. If the same Minnesota study were to be done in other parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe, researchers would have a clearer perspective about the effect of music training. Looking at countries with different adaptations to music traditions would help researchers understand the effect of music training. Dr. Josh McDermott, the study’s lead author and researcher at New York University, explains, “It would also be interesting to take some of these insights and apply them to developmental studies in infants.”
Many scientists believe these new studies will change how the world perceives music. Rhythm and lyrics impact people in different ways. Because music is exclusive, and appreciated uniquely in different countries, experts consider this study a successful and effective source of new information.
[Sources: The New York Times; USA Today]