Taking piano lessons and using math puzzle software significantly improves math skills of elementary school children. Second-grade students were given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time using newly designed math software. The group scored over 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who used only the math software. Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. The software – called Spatial-Temporal Animation Reasoning (STAR) – allows children to solve geometric and math puzzles that boost their ability to manipulate shapes in their minds. The findings are significant because a grasp of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to math at higher levels, and children who do not master these areas of math cannot understand more advanced math critical to high-tech fields.

Reference: Neurological Research March, 1999.