At-Risk Elementary School Children with One Year of Classroom Music Instruction Are Better at Keeping a Beat

Jessica Slater, Adam Tierney, Nina Kraus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Temporal processing underlies both music and language skills. There is increasing evidence that rhythm abilities track with reading performance and that language disorders such as dyslexia are associated with poor rhythm abilities. However, little is known about how basic time-keeping skills can be shaped by musical training, particularly during critical literacy development years. This study was carried out in collaboration with Harmony Project, a non-profit organization providing free music education to children in the gang reduction zones of Los Angeles. Our findings reveal that elementary school children with just one year of classroom music instruction perform more accurately in a basic finger-tapping task than their untrained peers, providing important evidence that fundamental time-keeping skills may be strengthened by short-term music training. This sets the stage for further examination of how music programs may be used to support the development of basic skills underlying learning and literacy, particularly in at-risk populations which may benefit the most.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere77250
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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