Notes by Howard Gardner
This article about the long term benefits of musical lessons reminds us of what our grandmothers knew: we need to spend a significant amount of time if we want to master a sector of experience and the rewards will last a long time, perhaps even a life time. Yet we should also note that the benefits of such intensive and extensive training may be limited to certain related spheres.
While significant exposure to music in the early years may enhance certain ‘sound’ aspects of linguistic processing, there is little reason to expect that it will help with syntactic aspects of language, let alone with ease in learning foreign languages. We should not expect miracles. We should, instead, train capacities because of their intrinsic interest and importance, and not because we hope for some magical form of ‘transfer.’
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