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Journal Article

The impact of music training on executive functions in childhood - a systematic review


Degé,  Franziska       
Department of Music, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Max Planck Society;

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Degé, F., & Frischen, U. (2022). The impact of music training on executive functions in childhood - a systematic review. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 579-602. doi:10.1007/s11618-022-01102-2.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-EA83-A
Executive functions are cognitive control processes for regulating attention and behavior and are of enormous importance for child development. Accordingly, it is desirable to find effective interventions to promote executive functions. Research suggests that musical training is an activity that can promote the development of executive functions in childhood. The findings from existing studies, however, appear inconsistent. This systematic literature review aims to shed more light on the influence of musical training on executive functions and to investigate to what extent age of the children, study design, and type and duration of musical training play a role. The results of this work show that the majority of the included studies report an influence of musical training on executive functions. Since most studies measured inhibition, the impact of music training on inhibition is most reliable. However, there are still not enough studies of sufficiently high quality to permit a solid systemization with respect to age and with regard to the type and duration of the musical training.