Saturday December 15, 2018

Music lessons boost children’s memory and grades

Joining a music class may help children improve academic performance as researchers have found that such lessons can enhance their cognitive abilities

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Music lessons may improve development of children's cognitive skills.
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Joining a music class may help children improve academic performance as researchers have found that such lessons can enhance their cognitive abilities — including language-based reasoning and short-term memory.

“Despite indications that music has beneficial effects on cognition, music is disappearing from general education curricula,” said study co-author Artur Jaschke from VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Music lessons can help children greatly.

“This inspired us to initiate a long-term study on the possible effects of music education on cognitive skills that may underlie academic achievement,” Jaschke added.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, the researchers conducted the study with 147 children across multiple Dutch schools, using a structured musical method developed by the Ministry of Research and Education in the Netherlands together with an expert centre for arts education.

All schools followed the regular primary school curriculum, with some providing supplementary music or visual arts classes. In these, the children were given both theoretical and practical lessons. After 2.5 years, the children’s academic performance was assessed, as well as various cognitive skills including planning, inhibition and memory skills.

The researchers found that children who received music lessons had significant cognitive improvements compared to all other children in the study. Visual arts classes also showed a benefit. Children in these classes had significantly improved visual and spatial short-term memory compared to students who had not received any supplementary lessons.

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Students learning music have better cognitivon skills. VOA

“Children who received music lessons showed improved language-based reasoning and the ability to plan, organise and complete tasks, as well as improved academic achievement,” Jaschke said.

“This suggests that the cognitive skills developed during music lessons can influence children’s cognitive abilities in completely unrelated subjects, leading to overall improved academic performance,” Jaschke added. IANS

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Apple Music To Work With Amazon Echo

Apple and Amazon are still competitors, however. Amazon will still not sell the HomePod smart speaker, sticking to its own Echo offerings instead.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook discusses the new Apple iPhones and other products at the Steve Jobs Theater during an event to announce new products in Cupertino, California. VOA

Amazon’s Echo smart speakers would work with Apple Music beginning December 17, the company has announced.

“If you have an Apple Music account and have connected it to your smart speaker in the Alexa app, the speakers will be able to play music on demand. Apple’s $9.99 a month music subscription service will join Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, Amazon’s own music service, and other options on Alexa devices,” CNN reported late on Friday.

The agreement is the latest sign of good relations between the two tech titans.

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This comes barely two weeks after Amazon announced it was working with the iPhone-maker to carry its newest products, including iPhones.

The move will hit the third party vendors who sell new and refurbished Apple products on the e-commerce platform but the retail giant will gain from the deal, market research firm Counterpoint Research said last week.

Also Read: Microsoft Now The Most Valuable Public Company, Surpassing Apple

“Apple and Amazon are still competitors, however. Amazon will still not sell the HomePod smart speaker, sticking to its own Echo offerings instead. And you cannot access Amazon Music through Siri on the HomePod at this time,” the report added. (IANS)