Maybe we should have our local school boards review this research: if the goal of public education is to teach students to learn and be better equipped to think, there may be merit in this research . . Jim K.
In a study released in 2000, second graders from a low income school in Los Angeles were given eight months of 'piano keyboard' These students, taking the Stanford 9 Math Test, went from scoring in the 30th to the 65th percentile. An interesting finding given the TIMMS results of 1998. (Neurological Research, March 15, 1999; Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University Of California, Irvine)
A related study by University of Wisconsin Professor, Dr. Frances Rauscher published in 1997 in the Scientific Journal Neurological Research showed that children involved with keyboard instruction at an early age showed significantly enhanced abstract reasoning abilities, critical to success in science and complex math.
After learning about this research, the Wisconsin School District of Kettle Moraine wanted to see how this concept would work in the real world. They implemented a program that replicated the Rauscher study, using kindergarten students and group piano
At the end of the school year, students in classes that had received 'piano keyboard' instruction outscored those who received no keyboard instruction by 46 percent! The program has since expanded to K through 6 students across the entire district.