Music Lessons Make Children Feel Clever

Posted: 5th June 2017 by Amy Fancourt

On Saturday 27th May, the latest findings from one of the BrainCanDo collaborative research projects featured in The Times Newspaper. Teenagers who participate in musical activity are more likely to think that you can learn to be clever and this has a positive impact on their school work. Participation in music has been linked to the development of a ‘growth mindset’ and a belief that it is possible to improve and learn from mistakes.

The research project is led by Dr Daniel Müllensiefen, a music psychologist at Goldsmiths, University of London, who won a €250,000 award from a German foundation to expand his work.

He told The Times: “One of the results we found was that there is a chain of links going from musical abilities to conscientiousness to academic performance. It appears that people learning an instrument use this experience of acquiring a new skill and having a new way of expressing themselves. This might then actually change their perception of what they can achieve with learning and how they perceive their cognitive abilities and intelligence.”

Camille Morana, a Sixth Form pupil at Queen Anne’s School said: “Doing music has definitely given me so much confidence in other things, such as asking questions in class. You realise you can learn from your mistakes and ask questions and get things wrong.”