Document Type


Publication Date



Music training typically starts at an early age when the brain is most receptive to plastic changes. Musicians practice countless hours in an extended amount of time to master their music-making abilities, making them an excellent model to study brain plasticity. Yet, the specific mechanisms that bring about changes following music training are unclear. Though the “Mozart effect” myth has been rejected by numerous researchers, the myth that music training will increase intelligence is still embraced by many teachers, parents and even policy-makers in the education system. In addition, an increasing number of studies now suggest that music training is likely associated with improvements in other areas that are not related to the training itself, such as visual memory. In this review, I evaluate the merits of three studies that drew competing conclusions on the effects of music training on memory to obtain a comprehensive view of the underlying challenges in this field of research. I argue that the extent to which music training extends to other realms outside of the musically relevant skills remains subject to question. Therefore, policy-makers, educators and parents must be prudent when introducing children to music training in hopes of improving their far-transfer skills such as linguistic abilities, social skills and general intelligence.