Voice Instruction Enhances Children's Spatial Ability: Tonal (Thai) Speaker Case Study

Wichian Sittiprapaporn


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of individual music instruction featuring the singing on the spatial reasoning of the tonal (Thai) speaker children. Thirty Thai children were equally assigned to one of two conditions, singing (N=15) or no music (N=15). Children in the music group received weekly individual instruction at their private music programs for a period of 3 months. All children were pretested and posttested with two spatial tasks: Mechanical Aptitude and Spatial Relations Sub-tests including Matching Part and Figures (MPF) and Spatial Views (SV). Means and standard deviations scores of music group were significantly higher than no music group in both tasks after 3 months of lessons (Music group, MPF, Mean = 8.33 (±.62) and SV, Mean = 9.33 (±.72); No music group, MPF, Mean = 5.07 (±1.34), SV, Mean = 6.40 (±1.84), respectively. The posttest scores of the music group was significantly greater than those of the no music group in both tasks (MPF, t(14) = -8.009, p < .0001; SV, t(14) = -5.12, p < .0001), respectively. The improvement for the no music group was presumably due to maturation. This study suggests that learning music is an important developmental activity in tonal (Thai) speaker children’s spatial ability. Neurophysiological basis of this finding is however needed to explore changes in the structure and function of the tonal (Thai) speaker children’s brain in relation to the neural circuitry involved in judging spatial skills. Keywords: Brain; Spatial ability; Music education; Voice instruction; Tonal speaker Résumé: Le but de cette étude était de déterminer les effets des cours de musique individuels, caractérisés par le chant, sur le raisonnement spatial des enfants qui parlent une langue à tons (thailandais). Trente enfants thaïlandais ont été également attribué à l'une des deux conditions, le chant (N = 15) ou pas de musique (N = 15). Les enfants du groupe de musique ont reçu un enseignement individuel hebdomadaire en accord avec leurs programmes de musique privés pour une période de 3 mois. Tous les enfants ont été pré-testés et post-testés par deux tâches spatiales: l'aptitude mécanique et les tests apparentés aux relations spatiales, y compris l'assemblage des parties et des figures (APF) et les vues spatiales (VS). Les notes moyennes et les notes standards du groupe de musique étaient significativement plus élevées que celles de groupe de pas de musique dans les deux tâches après 3 mois de cours (groupe de musique, APF, moyenne = 8,33 (± 0,62) et SV, moyenne = 9,33 (± 0,72); groupe de pas de musique, APF, moyenne = 5,07 (± 1,34), SV, moyenne = 6,40 (± 1,84). Les notes de post-test du groupe de musique ont été significativement plus élevées que celles du groupe de pas de musique dans les deux tâches (APF, t (14) = -8,009, p

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.css.1923669720100606.002


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