Student NameAustin Freedman
Faculty Mentor NameJill Sonke
CollegeCollege of Arts
Academic AwardsUF President's Honor Roll, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Florida Academic Scholars Award
OrganizationsUF Student Government Senate, Gator Growl, Chi Phi Fraternity
Research InterestsADHD, Neuroscience, Memory
Hobbies and InterestsListening to music, traveling, and surfing.

Research Project

Nutritional Sciences and Botanical Research

Roughly 4 million U.S children, 2-17 years of age, are prescribed ADHD medications. For the safety of U.S children, further research and alternatives to medications must be examined. The alternative I aim to investigate is music. More specifically, the effects of musical instrument training on working memory in children with Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While music has demonstrated beneficial effects on memory, attention, and learning, the use of music as a treatment for ADHD is not extensively studied. During my study, students 6 to 18 years of age with an ADHD diagnosis will receive bi-weekly guitar lessons for eight weeks. Through the sixteen half-hour sessions, students will read sheet music, learn the CAGEDF chords, and perform basic-level songs. These lessons will allow participants to explore and practice music. To evaluate working memory, the validated Digit Span Test will be administered before entering the study and after every two weeks of training. Statistical analysis will reveal any improvement in working memory after musical instrument training. My study will advance our understanding of music and ADHD, and propose a new outlook to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.