HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips


TYPE- Special Topics




BUMPER MUSIC- "Womb, Sweet Womb" (Area 47 Music)

ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe


Playing an instrument and listening to music can have a variety of positive effects on children and adults alike. It can rewire your brain to better accomplish mental and physical tasks. What's a good way to get your children into music? What's the best instrument to start with? Let us discuss!


Well before birth, and well after, children are constantly being exposed to music and sound. Be it through school, church, cartoons, movies, nursery rhymes, special occasions or the toys they play with, it is ingrained in them.

When they tap into these skills and talents,

it helps them in other ways such as:

Language Skills and Development

Spatial and Temporal Reasoning

Verbal Memorization

Mathematical Learning

Increased IQ and Better Test Scores


The following discussion was taken from

"Marketing Mozart", on the Oxford University Press's Academic Insights for the Thinking World, by Gary McPherson and Solange Glasser.

-The term “Mozart Effect” was initially created in 1991 by Alfred A, Tomatis, in his book “Pourquoi Mozart”. He would use the music of Mozart, played in varying frequencies, in efforts to cure a variety of disorders for his patients. He would use Gregorian chant and other electronic music and sounds, including the patients mothers voice. But he never claimed that music would make you smarter.

-In 1993, Francis Rauscher and his associates ran an experiment where they played 10 minutes of a Mozart Sonata (K.448), to adult subjects, prior to an IQ test that revolved around spatial and temporal performance. These subjects all showed improvement compared the to control group (who listened to nothing) However, the effects only lasted for about 15 minutes. This study never made the claim that music would make you smarter.

-In 1997, Don Campbell published the book, “The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit,”. The claim was that one could use the music of Mozart to enhance intelligence, learning, creativity and imagination. The findings were controversial due to a lack of more extensive study and definitive results.

-The question is: Does this occur as the result of Mozart specifically? Or are these findings a product of what was termed “enjoyment arousal”, as the result of listening to any music or sound that pleases the individual?


The following discussion was taken from

"The Benefits of Music Education", on PBS Parents, by Laura Lewis Brown.

-When a child is learning music, their brain is taking on many tasks at a time. It’s a very integrating experience. Reading, listening and processing translates to coordinating physical tasks with intricate dexterity.

 -A study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute, in 2016, suggests that learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning and possibly increase SAT scores.

-In 2004, E. Glenn Shellinberg (of University of Toronto Mississauga) published a study, in Psychological Science, that involved 3 groups (each with 12 6 year old kids):


-One group had 9 months of piano and vocal lessons.

-One group had drama lessons.

-One group took no lessons at all.


After 9 months, the music group averaged 3 IQ points higher than the other two groups. The drama didn’t get the IQ boost but saw more social benefits than the other two groups.

-In 2007, Christopher Johnson (professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas) published a study where they compared schools of high quality music education to schools with low quality music education. The students with higher quality programs scored 22% higher in English and 20% higher in math on standardized tests, regardless of socioeconomic variances between the schools.

-According to Dr. Kyle Pruett (professor of Child psychology at Yale School of Medicine) people with musical training tend to be good at recalling verbal information. But also according to Dr. Pruett, “It’s important not to oversell how smart music can make you,” Pruett says. “Music makes your kid interesting and happy, and smart will come later. It enriches his or her appetite for things that bring you pleasure and for the friends you meet.”


The following discussion was taken from an interview with Jessica Jenkins, on the podcast, "Preschool and Beyond-Ep.9: The Power of Music" with host, Mike Dilot.

-Preparation- During the early years, sing to and with your kids. Play music and watch how they respond to different genres. Nursery rhymes are great (already written, great hooks, simple melodies). Clap and stomp, for foot and hand coordination and to instill rhythm.

-Signs of readiness- Some parents start their kids as early as 3 years of age. Being potty trained is a good thing. Focus is an issue early on. 15 min lessons, at first, should be just long enough to hold their attention spans.


-The 'go to' instruments are traditionally violin and piano. These can be expensive. Other more affordable and manageable instruments include toy piano, ukulele, harmonica and the recorder. Cheapest of all, possibly the easiest, is the voice.

-There are 3 key things to keep in mind, regarding these musical abilities: They need to be:


1-Reinforced with a habitual schedule.

2-Practiced by the musician during lessons and on their own time.

3-Celebrated in the home or whatever environment, however formal or informal.


Expect hang-ups and frustration. Make it a long term goal, not just for a summer break. Not every musician is a performer but perhaps that can be ingrained early on by encouraging them to perform in front of friends and family.