Muting the Mozart effect

first_img <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqSY3INIxAs” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/oqSY3INIxAs/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Children get plenty of benefits from music lessons. Learning to play instruments can fuel their creativity, and practicing can teach much-needed focus and discipline. And the payoff, whether in learning a new song or just mastering a chord, often boosts self-esteem.But Harvard researchers now say that one oft-cited benefit — that studying music improves intelligence — is a myth.Though it has been embraced by everyone from advocates for arts education to parents hoping to encourage their kids to stick with piano lessons, a pair of studies conducted by Samuel Mehr, a Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) doctoral student working in the lab of Elizabeth Spelke, the Marshall L. Berkman Professor of Psychology, found that music training had no effect on the cognitive abilities of young children. The studies are described in a Dec. 11 paper published in the open-access journal PLoS One.“More than 80 percent of American adults think that music improves children’s grades or intelligence,” Mehr said. “Even in the scientific community, there’s a general belief that music is important for these extrinsic reasons. But there is very little evidence supporting the idea that music classes enhance children’s cognitive development.”The notion that music training can make someone smarter, Mehr said, can largely be traced to a single study published in Nature. In it, researchers identified what they called the “Mozart effect.” After listening to music, test subjects performed better on spatial tasks.Though the study was later debunked, the notion that simply listening to music could make someone smarter became firmly embedded in the public imagination, and spurred a host of follow-up studies, including several that focused on the cognitive benefits of music lessons.Though dozens of studies have explored whether and how music and cognitive skills might be connected, when Mehr and colleagues reviewed the literature they found only five studies that used randomized trials, the gold standard for determining causal effects of educational interventions on child development. Of the five, only one showed an unambiguously positive effect, and it was so small — just a 2.7 point increase in IQ after a year of music lessons — that it was barely enough to be statistically significant.“The experimental work on this question is very much in its infancy, but the few published studies on the topic show little evidence for ‘music makes you smarter,’” Mehr said.To explore the connection between music and cognition, Mehr and his colleagues recruited 29 parents and 4-year-old children from the Cambridge area. After initial vocabulary tests for the children and music aptitude tests for the parents, each was randomly assigned to one of two classes, one that had music training, or another that focused on visual arts.“We wanted to test the effects of the type of music education that actually happens in the real world, and we wanted to study the effect in young children, so we implemented a parent-child music enrichment program with preschoolers,” Mehr said. “The goal is to encourage musical play between parents and children in a classroom environment, which gives parents a strong repertoire of musical activities they can continue to use at home with their kids.”Harvard study on music and cognition Children and parents take part in a music training class as part of a Harvard study that explored whether studying music improved cognition among young children.Among the key changes Mehr and his colleagues made from earlier studies were controlling for the effect of different teachers — Mehr taught both the music and visual arts classes — and using assessment tools designed to test areas of cognition, vocabulary, mathematics, and two spatial tasks.“Instead of using something general, like an IQ test, we tested four specific domains of cognition,” Mehr said. “If there really is an effect of music training on children’s cognition, we should be able to better detect it here than in previous studies, because these tests are more sensitive than tests of general intelligence.”The study’s results, however, showed no evidence for cognitive benefits of music training.While the groups performed comparably on vocabulary and number-estimation tasks, the assessments showed that children who received music training performed slightly better at one spatial task, while those who received visual arts training performed better at the other.“Study One was very small. We only had 15 children in the music group, and 14 in the visual arts,” Mehr said. “The effects were tiny, and their statistical significance was marginal at best. So we attempted to replicate the study, something that hasn’t been done in any of the previous work.”To replicate the effect, Mehr and colleagues designed a second study that recruited 45 parents and children, half of whom received music training, and half of whom received no training.Just as in the first study, Mehr said, there was no evidence that music training offered any cognitive benefit. Even when the results of both studies were pooled to allow researchers to compare the effect of music training, visual arts training, and no training, there was no sign that any group outperformed the others.“There were slight differences in performance between the groups, but none were large enough to be statistically significant,” Mehr said. “Even when we used the finest-grained statistical analyses available to us, the effects just weren’t there.”While the results suggest studying music may not be a shortcut to educational success, Mehr said there is still substantial value in music education.“There’s a compelling case to be made for teaching music that has nothing to do with extrinsic benefits,” he said. “We don’t teach kids Shakespeare because we think it will help them do better on the SATs. We do it because we believe Shakespeare is important.“Music is an ancient, uniquely human activity. The oldest flutes that have been dug up are 40,000 years old, and human song long preceded that,” he said. “Every single culture in the world has music, including music for children. Music says something about what it means to be human, and it would be crazy not to teach this to our children.”The study was supported by funding from the Dana Foundation, and inspired by the work of William Safire.last_img read more

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Williams wants to share goal burden

first_img Swansea’s next test is at Hull where they stumbled last season and Williams accepts they must do better against more unfashionable Premier League rivals. “We know we have to pick ourselves up at Hull which is always a difficult place to go,” Williams said. “They are scrapping and sometimes when we play against those type of teams we have come up short. “So the focus this week will be we need to take care of business on Saturday and get points on the board and then have a good Christmas and New Year period. “It’s so important going into January as you can find yourself in a completely different position than when you started Christmas with however it goes. “But you have to take your chances, this is the Premier League and you can’t really keep missing them and expect to win games.” Swansea’s reliance on Bony – who could be absent for as many as seven games in the new year when he is away at the Africa Cup of Nations – is reflected by the fact that the 25-year-old has scored eight of the club’s last 13 goals in the top flight. “It is a worry if Wilf doesn’t score because we need to chip in with more goals as a team,” Williams said after Swansea’s second straight league defeat. “We need to find goals from other places on the pitch. All of us, Wilf included, get a lot of chances and if we go 2-0 up against Spurs I am sure that we can win the game. “We have got this record from losing from winning positions, but I’m pretty sure that all of them have been one goal and there have been games where we’ve had a lot of chances after we scored the first goal. “It’s pretty simple really, we need to convert the chances but I don’t know how we do that or how we change that. “I just think the chances we get, the positions we find ourselves in, we have to take them and we all have to do better. “I don’t now how many chances we had – but the positions we get ourselves in we have to do better to convert.” “When you say we have to take our chances you do look at the guys up front as that’s what they do, but as a team we need to share the goals around.” Ashley Williams believes Swansea must lift the scoring burden from top marksman Wilfried Bony. The Ivory Coast striker became the first player to score 20 Barclays Premier League goals in the calendar year during Swansea’s 2-1 home defeat to Tottenham on Sunday. But Bony also passed up several other scoring opportunities as Swansea frittered away copious chances to see off a Spurs side they dominated for long periods before being floored by a late Christian Eriksen sucker punch. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Cowboys’ Dak Prescott’s message to Kyler Murray? ‘Doubt is a gift’

first_img NFL Draft 2019 odds, prop bets: Will Kyler Murray go No. 1 overall? “The fact that I don’t know what we’re doing but everyone else does, that’s concerning,” Keim said. “We are not done with this process. There are a number of players, in my opinion, and our scouts’ opinions, and our coaches’ opinion, that warrant being the first overall selection.”The NFL Draft will be held Thursday – Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee. So what if they doubt you. @dak ➡️ @TheKylerMurray #NFLDraft April 25 @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/ayrW2AppEL— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) April 21, 2019Prescott had a standout collegiate career at Mississippi State yet fell to the fourth round of the 2016 draft, where the Cowboys grabbed him with the 135th overall pick. Prescott was expected to serve as Dallas’ backup quarterback but took over as the team’s starter after Tony Romo suffered a back injury and never looked back.The Cowboys have recorded a 32-16 record in Prescott’s starts and reached the playoffs in two of his three seasons.“He’s resilient,” Dallas wide receiver Amari Cooper said about Prescott in November.  “He never gets down on himself, never gets down on the team. He’s always believing that we can go out there and overcome any circumstance. And you need that. Especially in a quarterback. That’s something I really admire.”Murray took home the Heisman Trophy last season after he threw for 4,361 yards and tallied 54 total scores. Oklahoma finished with a 12-2 record and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinal, where it fell to Alabama.The Cardinals are reportedly considering picking Murray at No. 1. General manager Steve Keim told reporters last week the team has not made a decision about who it will draft. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has a message for Kyler Murray.The former Oklahoma star is expected to be the top quarterback selected in this week’s draft. Some, however, have questioned whether the 5-10 Murray will be able to succeed in the NFL because of his size.center_img Prescott, a two-time Pro Bowl player, told Murray to ignore the critics in a video posted Sunday on the Oklahoma football Twitter account.”Trust me, I know what it’s like to be doubted,” Prescott said in the video. “Remember though, doubt is a gift. It takes you to the next level. So what if they doubt you? They doubted me too.” Related News NFL Draft 2019: Dru Samia, Ben Powers talk protecting Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murraylast_img read more

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Video Shows Children Popping Balloon Before Mall Shooting Scare

first_imgAs detectives reviewed the surveillance video, they also found footage that shows children popping a balloon just before 3 p.m. inside the Hollister store near the food court. That situation took place about two minutes after the balloon popped under the janitor’s wheel.Boca Police issued a statement that reads, “We encourage you to always be prepared for a potential active shooter event. Be our eyes and ears to report suspicious activity. Have a plan to run, hide or fight, if needed. Many sounds can be mistaken for gunfire or explosions, including popping balloons, slamming push bars on doors, items being dropped and more. If you do not perceive an immediate threat, make sure that you evacuate in a calm and controlled manner to avoid trampling other people and/or falling to the ground.” Boca Raton Police released new video on Thursday afternoon in the case of last Sunday’s active shooter scare at the Town Center Mall.The video first shows a janitor pushing a cart with a balloon stuck under the wheel. He told investigators that the balloon popped under the wheel a short time after he moved out of view.last_img read more

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Providence St. Peter Foundation Christmas Forest Celebrates 25 Years Of Holiday…

first_imgSubmitted by Providence St. Peter FoundationOlympia, Wash.— A visit to Providence St. Peter Foundation’s 25th annual Christmas Forest. The five-day holiday fundraiser will open after Thanksgiving this year, running Wednesday, Nov.28-Sunday, Dec.2 at the Red Lion Hotel in Olympia. Complete with a new schedule, the event promises to bring holiday cheer and will help support the Providence mission of providing health care services for those in need.The festivities will include a display of custom decorated trees and wreaths, as well as local entertainment and a holiday gift shop. Special events include Ladies Night Out, Silver Bell Breakfast, Kids’ Day and more. A full schedule of events and registration information is available at www.provforest.org.This year’s Fund-A-Need will support the Providence St. Peter Sexual Assault Clinic and Child Maltreatment Center. Families often look to the Sexual Assault Clinic first, making it a critical bridge linking families in crisis to medical care, support and resources. Watch this video to learn more.Public viewing scheduleWednesday, Nov. 28, 10.a.m.-2 p.m.Thursday, Nov. 29, noon-8 p.m.Saturday, Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.Sunday, Dec. 2, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.Admission to the public viewing is $6 for adults and $1 for children under 12. On Friday, Nov. 25, seniors aged 62 and older can attend for just $5.More than 300 community volunteers, 60 local businesses, and hundreds of individuals and professional groups have joined together to create the annual Christmas Forest. The event sponsor is Titus-Will Chevrolet-Cadillac-Hyundai.Christmas Forest has generated more than $4.5 million throughout its history for charity care and medical equipment at Providence St. Peter Hospital, Providence Mother Joseph Care Center, Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice and Providence St. Francis House. Facebook16Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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