The impact of orchestral playing on children's lives

Maria Celeste Fasano, Elvira Brattico, Ida Siemens Lorenzen, Andrea Gargiulo, Morten L. Kringelbach, Cristina Semeraro, Rosalinda Cassibba

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Over the last few years, a growing number of studies has shown the effects that orchestral music training is able to evoke in children in terms of cognitive, social and emotional skills. Learning to play an instrument in an ensemble, besides often being more engaging than attending an individual lesson, implies a real and constant cognitive and emotional training requiring careful planning and monitoring of the performance, control over the focus of attention, integration of sensorimotor information, constant synchronisation to the rhythm and dynamics of the conductor and the rest of the orchestra, and several other skills. These demanding activities draw on complex neurocognitive functions, stimulating brain changes and therefore long-lasting behavioural refinements. This chapter provides a review of the present knowledge related to the effects of collective music training on different psychological skills in children. Moreover, we offer pedagogical insights related to collective music training by focusing on an inclusive orchestral program (Music’n’play) that in the last decade has involved more than 2000 children with or without diagnoses, becoming deeply rooted in the Southern Italian territory. Finally, we present the results of a recent pilot study focused on the impact of this orchestral training on children with ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArts and Mindfulness Education for Human Flourishing
EditorsTatiana Chemi, Elvira Brattico, Lone Overby Fjorback, László Harmat
Place of publicationLondon
Publication dateNov 2022
ISBN (Print)9780367746308, 9780367746278
ISBN (Electronic)9781003158790, 9781000789621
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


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