Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Jennifer Bugos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Darlene Demarie, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Victor Fung, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Williams, Ph.D.


Cognitive Functions, Music Education, Processing Speed, Verbal Fluency, Working Memory, Verbal Memory


The purpose of this study was to assess the differences in verbal fluency, verbal memory, and processing speed of children (age 10-12) enrolled in a Romanian vocational music school as compared to a group enrolled in vocational visual arts school, and a group enrolled in a regular public school. This is the first study to assess children enrolled in a music school in Romania. A total of 105 participants (43 males and 62 females) 10 to 12 years old (M = 11.13, SD = .34) competed the testing. There were 36 participants (15 males and 21 females) in the music group, 34 participants (12 males and 22 females) in the visual arts group, and 35 participants (16 males and 19 females) in the traditional education group. No significant differences were found in age, p = 0.873; gender, p = 0.682; parent education, p = 0.896; or household annual income, p =0 .968 among the groups. The full-scale IQ and the musical aptitude test scores were included in the analysis protocol as covariates, as the music group scored significantly higher on those two measures. The results of a multivariate analysis (MANCOVA) revealed a significant difference (p = .012) between groups, with music group demonstrating enhanced verbal memory performance. The results of this study indicate that instrumental music education may have a positive impact on cognitive functions in children (age 10-12).