Raise Your Kids' IQs

An Exciting Way to Raise the IQ of your kids: Sign your children up
for weekly music lessons, and in the space of just nine months, their
IQs may very well be higher. Researchers from the University of
Toronto have determined that this is all it takes for a child's IQ to
rise nearly three points, compared to their non-musical friends,
reports Health Day News.

How? Music gives the brain a workout that is useful in mathematics,
spatial intelligence,and other intellectual pursuits. With music
lessons, because there are so many different facets involved --
such as memorizing, expressing emotion, learning about musical
intervals and chords -- the multidimensional nature of the
experience may be motivating the [IQ] effect., study author E.
Glenn Schellenberg, of the University of Toronto at Mississauga,
told Health Day News.

Previous research 10 years ago at the University of Wisconsin
showed that just listening to Mozart could trigger a temporary
increase in spatial intelligence, so it is not uncommon for students
to capitalize on this by slipping a Mozart symphony in their CD
players just before an SAT exam. Health Day News notes that even
though the so-called Mozart Effect has been difficult to replicate
in subsequent studies, the idea that musical training might raise IQ
has intrigued the scientific community.

The study: Twelve Toronto area children, all of whom were 6 years
old at the start of the study and were about to enter first grade,
were given free weekly voice or piano lessons at the Royal
Conservatory of Music. Children this young have brains that are still
developing and so have a greater ability to change and adapt to
environmental stimuli; however, they are old enough at 6 to
participate in rigorous musical lessons. In addition, a third group of
6-year-olds was given free training in weekly drama classes. A
fourth group received no classes during the study period. Before
any classes were given, all the children were tested using the full
Weschler intelligence test that assesses intellectual function in 10
areas. The results: The children returned to the university lab the
summer between first and second grade and were retested. At
that time, all the children -- even those who were not taking music
lessons -- had an IQ increase of at least 4.3 points on average,
which is a consequence of going to school. Children who took drama
lessons scored no higher than those who took no lessons at all. But
the kids who took music lessons had slightly larger increases in IQ
than the control groups, averaging 7 points over their score a year
earlier, and 2.7points higher than the children who did not take
music lessons. Health Day News notes that the increase in IQ is
considered small but significant and was evident across the broad
spectrum of intelligence measured by the Weschler test. The same
IQ boost is not likely to benefit adults who take music lessons. The
study findings have been published in the journal Psychological
Music & Learning