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Open Access The impact of making music on aural perception and language skills: A research synthesis

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This paper provides a synthesis of research on the relationship between music and language, drawing on evidence from neuroscience, psychology, sociology and education. It sets out why it has become necessary to justify the role of music in the school curriculum and summarizes the different methodologies adopted by researchers in the field. It considers research exploring the way that music and language are processed, including differences and commonalities; addresses the relative importance of genetics versus length of time committed to, and spent, making music; discusses theories of modularity and sensitive periods; sets out the OPERA hypothesis; critically evaluates research comparing musicians with non-musicians; and presents detailed accounts of intervention studies with children and those from deprived backgrounds, taking account of the importance of the nature of the musical training. It concludes that making music has a major impact on the development of language skills.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 15 November 2017

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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