Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

September 15, 2009


Guardian - Learning a musical instrument at school improves children's behaviour, memory and intelligence, a government-commissioned study has found. Professor Susan Hallam, of the Institute of Education, University of London, analysed scores of researchers' studies on the benefits of music to children. She found researchers had discovered that learning to play an instrument enlarges the left side of the brain. This leads musically-trained pupils to remember almost a fifth more information. . .The government hopes to double the number of children, aged seven to 11, who are given a chance to learn an instrument for free by 2011. The government says that now over half of primary-aged children - 1m - learn an instrument. A study contrasting the impact of music lessons with that of drama classes found music lessons, over time, increased pupils' IQ by seven points, compared to 4.3 points for drama lessons.


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