Put down the banjo, Timmy: study finds learning music won’t make children smart

Jack Dutton:

But after analysing data from 54 studies conducted on 6,984 participants between 1986 and 2019, Dr Sala’s team found music training was ineffective at enhancing cognitive or academic skills, regardless of the skill type, participants’ age and duration of music training.

The authors found studies with high-quality design, such as those which used a group of active controls – children who did not learn music but instead learned a different skill, such as dance or sports, for example – showed no effect of music education on cognitive or academic performance.

“Our study shows that the common idea that ‘music makes children smarter’ is incorrect,” said Dr Sala, the lead author.