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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The present chapter reviews recent findings about associations between music training and nonmusical abilities. Individuals with music training differ from untrained individuals in multiple ways, exhibiting better performance on measures of speech perception, other language abilities (reading, spelling), and spatial abilities. Musically trained individuals also tend to perform better on tests of domain-general abilities including working memory and IQ, and children who take music lessons perform particularly well in school. There is some evidence indicating that music training causes some of these effects, but advantages for musically trained individuals are often too large to be environmental in origin. Rather, pre-existing differences in music aptitude, cognitive abilities, and personality also influence the decision to take music lessons and test-taking abilities. More generally, associations between music training and nonmusical abilities are bound to be a consequence of nature and nurture, and of interactions between nature and nurture.

Keywords: music training, IQ, language, speech, spatial abilities, personality

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