Effects of music education on musical, cognitive, social, and emotional skills of children from disadvantaged communities
School/Affiliation:Porto Polytechnic, School of Education
Co-Authors:Beatriz Ilari, Carolina Cordeiro, Margarida Baltazar, Gina C. Lemos, São Luís Castro, Carlos Santos-Luiz , Lisete Mónico, Graham F. Welch
Virtual or In-person:Virtual
This study investigates potential effects of an active music education program on the development of musical (perception and performance), cognitive, social, and emotional skills of children from disadvantaged communities.
Participants were 154 Portuguese children (M = 6.84 years; SD = 0.43; 77 girls) attending Year 2 in public primary schools without music or arts, in economically and socially deprived areas. Ten classes were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: Music (n=51), Drama (n=52), and Control (n=51). Music and Drama programs were implemented for 30 weeks by specialist teachers. Children's skills were assessed pre- and post-intervention, and the following measures were used: (1) musical perception – MBEMA; (2) musical performance – performing a rhythm and a song; (3) cognitive – 5 WISC-III subtests; (4) social – Social Skills Rating System; and (5) emotional – Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory, Youth version.
In this poster, we share main findings from the study. In terms of cognitive and musical skills, our analysis suggested that cognitive skills do not predict music performance skills. Yet, we found SES to predict rhythmic, but not melodic performance. In terms of social and emotional skills, our findings suggested that participating in music or drama education programs during one school year improved children’s assertion and self-control in both groups, and cooperation in the drama group. Participants’ involvement in music or drama also predicted a positive development of emotional skills amongst children from lower socio-economic groups. These findings are discussed in light of earlier research on music education and cognitive transfer.