The Impact of Music Instruction on Attention in Kindergarten Children

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Investigating the effects of instrumental music instruction on cognitive processes with kindergarten children can offer more information on the benefits of learning a musical instrument. To add to this body of research, in a randomized pretest–posttest control group design, the present study explored the effects of 5 weeks/15 hours of instrumental instruction using the violin Suzuki Method on (a) working memory efficiency, (b) visual-spatial processing, and (c) controlled attention among kindergarten students. Assessments were made using the Stanford-Binet 5 (SB-5) working memory and visual spatial subscales and the Kiddie Connor’s Continuous Performance Test Version 5 (K-CPT) attention subscales. A MANOVA followed by a univariate ANOVA was conducted on the means of the prepost change scores between the Suzuki violin treatment group and the control group. Results indicated there was a multivariate effect (p < .05) for the combined K-CPT measures and 1 univariate effect (p < .01) for the specific K-CPT subtest of Hit Response Time between the treatment and control group. There were no statistically significant differences in the means of prepost change scores between the groups on the SB-5 subscales. These findings demonstrate that attentional control, a psychological process necessary in academic learning, may be enhanced with instrumental music instruction when presented in early childhood.

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