Individualized piano instruction enhances executive functioning and working memory in older adults

Aging Ment Health. 2007 Jul;11(4):464-71. doi: 10.1080/13607860601086504.


This study evaluates transfer from domain-specific, sensorimotor training to cognitive abilities associated with executive function. We examined Individualized Piano Instruction (IPI) as a potential cognitive intervention to mitigate normal age-related cognitive decline in older adults. Thirty-one musically naïve community-dwelling older adults (ages 60-85) were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n = 16) or control group (n = 15). Neuropsychological assessments were administered at three time points: pre-training, following six months of intervention, and following a three-month delay. The experimental group significantly improved performance on the Trail Making Test and Digit Symbol measures as compared to healthy controls. Results of this study suggest that IPI may serve as an effective cognitive intervention for age-related cognitive decline.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition*
  • Education*
  • Female
  • Florida
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Music*
  • Residential Facilities