(STUDY FINDS) -- EAST LANSING, Mich. — The term “musical genius” is usually thrown around in reference to well known and groundbreaking musicians and song writers like Mozart or Chopin. However, according to the results of a new study, high intellect may be far more common among musicians than many assume. After analyzing how a group of beginning pianists honed their craft, researchers say that intelligence may play a role in how quickly an individual can learn how to play music.
Learning how to play a new instrument, or specific song, takes different people varying amounts of time to master. While this has always been filed under each person’s own unique musical aptitude, this study is among the first ever to look closely at the relationship between one’s overall intelligence, musical aptitude, and growth mindset. Growth mindset was defined by the study’s authors as the level of confidence a musical student has in their ability to keep improving their skills, in this case, their piano playing skills.
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“The strongest predictor of skill acquisition was intelligence, followed by music aptitude,” explains study author Alexander Burgoyne, a doctoral candidate in cognition and cognitive neuroscience at Michigan State University, in a release. “By contrast, the correlation between growth mindset and piano performance was about as close to zero as possible.”