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Making Music Boosts Cooperation, Problem-Solving Skills

Update Date: Sep 06, 2013 02:23 PM EDT

Making music help boosts pro-social behavior and problem-solving skills in young children, a new study suggests.

Previous studies found that making music significantly improves pro-social behavior in children.  The latest study wanted to see if making music also improves problem-solving skills in kids and whether there was a differences between boys and girls.

The latest research involved 48 four-year-old participants.  Scientists explored the children's pro-sociability, co-operation and problem-solving abilities.

Researchers randomly assigned children to either a "Music" Group or a "No Music" Group. Researchers said that children in the music group sang and played the percussion bullfrog and children in the "No Music" group listened to a story.

Afterwards, the children were instructed to play two games: a "Cooperation" game and a "Helping" game. Researchers said that the children's problem solving ability was analyzed by observing their reactions during the "Helping" game.

The findings revealed that music improved helpfulness in both girls and boys.  Researchers found that children in the "Music" group were over thirty times more likely to help than children in the "No Music" Group.  Researchers found that girls were over twenty times more likely to help than boys.

Kids in the music group were also sic times more likely to cooperate than those in the "No Music" group. 

Researchers found that girls were also more likely to cooperate after making music than boys. However, boys were four times more likely to problem solve.

Lead researcher Rie Davies said the latest findings highlight "the need for schools and parents to understand the important role music making has in children's lives in terms of social bonding and helping behaviors."

"Music making in class, particularly singing, may encourage pupils with learning differences and emotional difficulties to feel less alienated in the school environment," Davies added.

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