"Why Making Music Matters": Carnegie Hall Research Paper Commissioned on Childhood Development

By Steve Nagel on Mar 22, 2016 01:20 PM EDT

As part of a project that is actively trying to understand the relationship between music and early childhood development, Carnegie Hall has commissioned a research paper from Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf called "Why Making Music Matters." The document, which is publicly available as a PDF file, highlights the research that has taken place over many years concerning music's unique impact on the healthy (and potentially improved) development of children and infants.

At a time when interest in developmental psychology is spurring research on an acute level, Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf's findings underscore what scientists have long claimed about the importance of music at a young age; the paper offers some valuable insight into an area of science that is often obscured and difficult to test with any degree of accuracy in the long term. The Carnegie Hall research paper is publicly available to parents, teachers, and all who are interested in adapting the studies and facilitating growth in children.

Of the many reassuring discoveries described in the research paper, one study showed that five-year-olds who receive only twelve weeks of music lessons "develop their ability to listen closely and pick out sounds much more accurately than their peers who are not making music." Another study suggests that children who make music (including tapping, clapping, bouncing, and dancing) can exhibit improved motor control, which can remain with them throughout their lives. Experiencing live music together in groups was also determined to improve human interaction and intimacy between children and parents.

In its presentation, the Carnegie Hall research paper reads less like an academic study and more like a well-meaning pamphlet advertising the far-reaching implications of early musical exposure. For parents looking to set their child off on a musical path, to take preventative action, or to explore music's therapeutic effects (following trauma conditions, or in response to autism), the Carnegie Hall research paper is yet another example of the institution's continued efforts to benefit the next generation of music lovers.

Also a part of Carnegie Hall's "Musical Connections" program, hear about Carnegie's "Lullaby Project" below:

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TagsCarnegie Hall, Childhood, Interdisciplinary Center for Computer Music Research, Lullaby Project

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