SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Music Advantage: How Music Helps Your Child Develop, Learn, and Thrive

TarcherPerigee. Mar. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9780593332122. $26. CHILD REARING
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As Collins watched the end-of-the-year presentations at the school where she taught music, she noted that, year after year, seven to eight of the 10 prizewinners in all academic subjects were highly involved in music. Curious, she sought to answer the question whether learning music helped with other academics or if those who were doing well academically were drawn to music. In her research, she traveled the world and spent time studying the physiological structure of the brain itself to learn about development. She learned babies hear their mother’s voice as if it were music and the brains of musically trained adults seemed to both look and function differently than their nonmusically inclined counterparts. One finding: musically adept participants used less brain activity to complete a task. Collins’s chapters cover brain development and music from babyhood through the adult years. She includes personal anecdotes from her own childhood; as a child who struggled to learn to read, she excelled in music, and as she learned to “read” music, words weren’t far behind.
VERDICT Though a slow read at times, this title shows the value of music education on brain development and includes practical tips for harnessing melody and rhythm to increase learning in all areas.

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