'Making Music May Improve Young Children's Behavior'

For young children, making music making improves social bonding, helping behaviour, and problem solving.

Making music can improve both pro-social behaviour (voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another) and the problem solving skills of young children according to a new study.

Building on existing research (Kirschner and Tomasello in 20102) which found that making music significantly improves pro-social behaviour in young children) the current study investigated not only the potential effects of music making (singing or playing an instrument) on pro-sociability but also its effects on problem-solving and whether there was a difference between boys and girls.

Music improved helpfulness for both girls and boys with children in the 'Music' group over thirty times more likely to help than those in the 'No Music' group. Girls were over twenty times more likely to help than boys. Making music was also shown to improve co-operation among all the children in the 'Music Group' who were six times more likely to co-operate than those in the 'No Music' Group. Once again girls were even more likely to co-operate after music making than boys. Boys in the 'Music' Group were also four times more likely to problem solve. [emphasis mine]

Tags: cooperation, helpfulness, playing musical instruments, problem solving, singing, young children

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