Date of Graduation

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Music

Advisor

Elizabeth Margulis

Committee Member

Denise R. Beike

Second Committee Member

Martin Nedbal

Keywords

Communication and the arts; Biological sciences; Psychology; Cognition; Development; Emotion perception; Music training

Abstract

Numerous studies found evidence that music training can enhance cognitive abilities both for children and adults. However, no evidence was found yet, whether music training can enhance abilities in emotion perception. I tested 8-9 year-old children on emotion perception in visual and musical contexts. The tests did not show significant difference between the musically trained and non-trained group neither in visual nor in musical context, however, when emotion scores were analyzed separately for each piece of music, musically trained children's responses reflected stereotypical modes of approaching emotional meanings in music, moreover, musically trained children's judgments were more uniform as there was less variability between their responses compared to the responses of non-trained children, which can be attributed to the common expressive rules whereby children learn to convey emotions through music during their music training.

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