Formal string instrument training in a class setting enhances cognitive and sensorimotor development of primary school children

James, Clara Eline (Geneva School of Health Sciences, HES-SO University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland ; Department of Psychology, University of Geneva) ; Zuber, Sascha (Department of Psychology, University of Geneva ; Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva ; Swiss National Centre of Competences in Research LIVES–Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives (NCCR Lives), Université de Lausanne) ; Dupuis Lozeron, Elise (Clinical Research Centre and Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Geneva University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine) ; Abdili, Laura (Department of Psychology, University of Geneva) ; Gervaise, Diane (Department of Psychology, University of Geneva) ; Kliegel, Matthias (Department of Psychology, University of Geneva ; Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Gerontology and Vulnerability, University of Geneva ; Swiss National Centre of Competences in Research LIVES–Overcoming Vulnerability: Life Course Perspectives (NCCR Lives), Université de Lausanne)

This cluster randomized controlled trial provides evidence that focused musical instrumental practice, in comparison to traditional sensitization to music, provokes multiple transfer effects in the cognitive and sensorimotor domain. Over the last 2 years of primary school (10–12 years old), 69 children received group music instruction by professional musicians twice a week as part of the regular school curriculum. The intervention group learned to play string instruments, whereas the control group (i.e., peers in parallel classes) was sensitized to music via listening, theory and some practice. Broad benefits manifested in the intervention group as compared to the control group for working memory, attention, processing speed, cognitive flexibility, matrix reasoning, sensorimotor hand function, and bimanual coordination Apparently, learning to play a complex instrument in a dynamic group setting impacts development much stronger than classical sensitization to music. Our results therefore highlight the added value of intensive musical instrumental training in a group setting within the school curriculum. These results encourage general implementation of such training in public primary schools, thus better preparing children for secondary school and for daily living activities.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Santé
School:
HEdS - Genève
Institute:
Aucun institut
Date:
2020-06
Pagination:
16 p.
Published in:
Frontiers in Neuroscience
Numeration (vol. no.):
2020, vol. 14, article 567
DOI:
ISSN:
1662-453X
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2020-06-29, last modified 2020-06-30

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