Tuesday, September 07, 2004

More Evidence That Music Makes You Smarter

Researchers at the University of Toronto concluded that taking music lessons raises IQ scores. Their study also showed that children who take drama lessons improve in adaptive social behavior. Short news summary here.

Before you send the kids to their piano or voice lessons, though, consider sending them to learn the organ. You'll make a grand contribution to society by reducing the national organist shortage.

If you want to ensure they pass on the family genes, may I suggest the wise investment of guitar lessons. From Geoffrey Miller's Evolution of human music through sexual selection:
Consider Jimi Hendrix, for example. This rock guitarist extraordinaire died at the age of 27 in 1970, overdosing on the drugs he used to fire his musical imagination. His music output, three studio albums and hundreds of live concerts, did him no survival favours. But he did have sexual liaisons with hundreds of groupies, maintained parallel long-term relationships with at least two women, and fathered at least three children in the U.S., Germany, and Sweden. Under ancestral conditions before birth control, he would have fathered many more. Hendrix’s genes for musical talent probably doubled their frequency in a single generation, through the power of attracting opposite-sex admirers.

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