A group of kindergarteners in Schuylkill Valley Elementary School in Pennsylvania are doing something interesting this year—they're all learning how to play the violin. The hope is that the students will show how playing a musical instrument could boost academic performance and cognitive ability.
We talk a lot here at Motivation Matters about the importance of using classes in music and art to increase students' motivation levels, and this study aims to draw a direct research-based connection between the two. At least one other study (PDF) has found a relationship between students' motivation levels and the performing arts, according to the article.
This is an interesting initiative, and I'm curious to see how it turns out, but personally, I'm sure glad I'm not around to listen to 130 five-year-olds learning to play the violin.