More musical training to improve learning in East Lothian?

Alan Coady has sold me on the importance of music in schools. Yesterday's Scotsman carried more evidence:
Schools 'need music as tool of education' , based on the
editorial in the current Brain Journal. There's a more detailed 1-page story
here that describes the method and conclusions. Unfortunately the original paper is a $28 download.

What they found:

  • "After one year the musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics and IQ."
  • "It is clear that music is good for children's cognitive development and that music should be part of the pre-school and primary school curriculum."

It's been picked up by the media in a big way:

Music clearly has an important role in the future
3-18 curriculum . It would be a particularly good keystone for an "
Extreme Learning " project if it could surreptitiously improve learning ability in the other subjects…

I wonder if any has ever looked at the statistics to see if there's a significant relationship between learning an instrument and attainment in subjects that use these intelligence skills? Of course, we may not have the stats; if not, maybe this is data we should be capturing and analysing?