Many will not find it surprising that the word “music” appears 23 times in this New Scientist article.
I found this paragraph especially interesting:
“Musically trained people perform better on tests of auditory memory – the ability to remember lists of spoken words, for example – and auditory attention. Children with a musical training have larger vocabularies and higher reading ability than those who do not (Nature Reviews Neuroscience, vol 11, p 599). There is even some evidence that early musical training increases IQ (Psychological Science, vol 15, p 511).”
Where it seems relevant, I like to post about anything interesting in the interface between music and science. So you can imagine how pleased I was to receive an email notification of an event entitled Tune-In at the Wellcome Collection* on Saturday 8 Nov. Entry is free and so, if you’re in the neighbourhood, it seems like as fascinating a way to spend a Saturday as I can imagine.
I’ll write more after the event, at which I hope to meet up with my guitar-playing cousin Martin Byatt.
Speaking of science, I heard today on Today that Richard Dawkins has stood down from the Chair For The Public Understanding of Science. The chair is to be filled by Marcus du Sautoy – a frequent guest on In Our Time and presenter of BBC 4’s The Story of Maths.
Do we have a chair for the public understanding of education? Do we need one?
* In association with Artakt, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and University of the Arts London. With thanks to the European Dana Alliance for the Brain.
This is the sort of finding that would cheer up anyone in music education
Those interested in the science of learning may be interested in The Biology of Learning (including tips) from Luminosity‘s Brain Health Blog.
I break off from the traditional summer silence to flag up some interesting tests related to Simon Baron Cohen‘s* recent book, The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain.
There are four tests:
The first three take the form of choosing how much you agree with a given statement: definitely agree; slightly agree; slightly disagree & definitely disagree. The 4th test involves looking at a pair of eyes, through the letter-box, as it were and then choosing which of four given emotions is being expressed.
In all four tests my score fell into the category where “most women score.” This did not surprise me and I imagine that most people employed in the people industries would score similarly. Why not try them? The overall results (with colour coded gender divide) for over 150,000 participants so far can be seen here (slow link – patience required).
I first came across this topic in an article in New Scientist which suggested that reading fiction might develop social skills.
* cousin of Sacha Baron Cohen aka Ali G and Borat