Issue 41 Memory

By WO Team

Musical or musician’s memory?


A study of Hong Kong high school students who were actively engaged in musical training showed that they perform better on verbal memory tests compared to students who had no musical training.

When tested for visual memory ability, there was no difference between the two groups.

Music students who were tested again 9 months after they had stopped their training did not show any additional improvement in verbal memory. But their previous verbal memory performance remained stable and better than the non-music group.

A similar study of Ontario university students also suggested that musical training enhances memory for verbal material.


Ho, Y-C, et al (2003) Music Training Improves Verbal but Not Visual Memory: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Explorations in Children. Neuropsychology 17: 439–450

Kilgour, A et al (2000) Music training and rate of presentation as mediators of text and song recall Memory and Cognition 28: 700-710