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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter evaluates the evidence that music training leads to improved cognitive abilities. It considers whether music training is associated with measures of general cognitive abilities, visuospatial abilities, and language abilities, as well as with real-world measures such as academic achievement and healthy aging. Although positive associations with music training are evident in each instance, causal evidence is lacking, inconsistent, or weak. The one exception appears to be specialized music training that focuses on listening skills and rhythm perception, which seems to improve listening skills more generally. Improved phonological awareness can, in turn, lead to improvements in reading, particularly for young children who are beginning to read, or for children with dyslexia. Otherwise, associations with music training appear to be the consequence of individual differences in demographics, personality, music aptitude, and cognitive ability, which influence who takes music lessons, particularly for extended durations of time.

Keywords: music, training, lessons, transfer, intelligence, speech, language

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