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Contact: Margaret Allen
Southern Methodist University

Study: Sleep Improves Music Skill

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Caption: A new study that examined how the brain learns and retains motor skills provides insight into musical skill. Performance of a musical task improved among pianists whose practice of a new melody was followed by a night of sleep, says researcher Sarah E. Allen, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The study is among the first to look at whether sleep enhances the learning process for musicians practicing a new piano melody. The study found, however, that when two similar melodies were practiced one after the other, followed by sleep, any gains in speed and accuracy achieved during practice diminished overnight, said Allen, an assistant professor of music education in SMU's Meadows School of the Arts. Read more at http://bit.ly/ZnzgWl on www.smuresearch.com. Higher resolution video on youtube at: http://bit.ly/10W61v1.

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Related news release: Musicians who learn a new melody demonstrate enhanced skill after a night's sleep

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