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An analysis of almost 50 years of research has shown that children do better in math when music is a central part of their lessons.

The study found that music can have a particularly beneficial effect on young children learning the basics of arithmetic.

The researchers say this can happen because it makes the subject more interesting, keeps students engaged, and helps alleviate any fear or anxiety they may have.

A team from the University of Antalya Belek in Turkey brought together the results of 55 studies from around the world that involved almost 78,000 young people, from kindergarteners to university students.

Three types of musical interferences were included in the analysis.

The first was a typical music class where children sing, listen and compose music.

The second was instrumental musical intervention, where children learned to play musical instruments individually or as part of an ensemble.

Finally, music enters mathematics as music is included in mathematics lessons.

Students were given math tests before and after participating in the intervention, and the change in their scores was compared to that of young people who did not participate in the intervention.

The use of music both in individual lessons and as part of math classes has been associated with greater improvement in math knowledge over time.

Blended lessons had the biggest impact, with about 73% of students who combined lessons doing significantly better than teens who didn’t have any musical intervention.

About 69% of students who learned to play instruments and 58% of students who received regular music lessons improved their performance more than students without musical intervention.

The researchers say the results also show that music helps with arithmetic learning more than other types of math and has a greater impact on younger students, who absorb more basic math concepts.

Dr. Aika Akon, one of the authors of the study, says that mathematics and music have a lot in common, such as the use of symbols.

She explained that arithmetic can be especially suited to learning through music because basic concepts such as fractions and ratios are also central to music.

For example, notes of different lengths can be represented as fractions and added together to create multiple musical measures.

“Encouraging math and music teachers to plan lessons together can help reduce student anxiety about math as well as improve academic performance,” Akin added.

The results were published in the Journal of Educational Studies.

Source: Daily Mail

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