Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Music To Their Eyes: Music lessons--and even simply listening to music--can enhance spatial-reasoning skills. That conclusion comes from a set of small, ongoing studies at the University of California at Irvine. Researchers there observed 33 3-year-olds enrolled in two Los Angeles County preschools. They gave 19 of the children weekly 10- to 15-minute keyboard lessons and daily 30-minute singing sessions. The rest of the children didn't receive the special lessons. At the end of four months, the children who had music lessons were already outscoring their peers on tasks that required them to rearrange pieces of a puzzle to make a picture. And the gains continued over the course of the eight-month study. (The two groups of students performed similarly well on tasks that did not require spatial-reasoning skills.) In a previous study, the researchers--Frances Rauscher and Gordon Shaw--found that listening to 10 minutes of a Mozart piano sonata increased the spatial IQ scores of college students. Spatial-reasoning skills are critical for scientists and engineers, the researchers write in a paper presented at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting last summer. "We hope our research will help convince public school administrators of how crucial music instruction is to all children,'' they said.

What's The Subject?: A report published in the September 1994 issue of Developmental Psychology offers some insights for educators trying to teach young children about sentence structure. Researchers Fernanda Ferreira of Michigan State University and Frederick Morrison of Loyola University at Chicago followed 48 5-year-olds for two years. At the start of the study, half of the children were just entering kindergarten, but the other half were a few weeks too young to start school. The researchers periodically asked the children to identify the subjects in as many as 96 sentences. In the beginning, most of the children--even those who hadn't yet started school--could name a simple subject in a sentence. They had trouble, though, when the subjects were pronouns or consisted of a string of words. By age 7, however, most of the children successfully picked out the pronoun subjects--regardless of whether they were in 1st grade or kindergarten. "Whatever factors are responsible for this specific difficulty with pronouns seem to exert less effect as children become older,'' Ferreira and Morrison write, "not as they become more schooled.'' By contrast, the children's ability to name two- and three-word subjects did improve with schooling.

--Debra Viadero

Vol. 06, Issue 04, Page 1-24

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories





Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >