Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. contrary to popular belief
    • ex. Contrary to popular belief, tomatoes are actually fruit, not vegetables.
  2. take up
    • ex. I have a lot of free time recently, so I’m thinking about taking up a new hobby.
  3. a misconception
    • ex. Many people think the sun is yellow, but that’s a misconception. The sun is actually white.
    • ex. Some people say that it’s pointless to exercise if you only eat junk food.
    • ex. My son’s teacher often writes messages like “Great job!” on students’ homework because he wants to improve their self-esteem.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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A new study found that contrary to popular belief, learning music does not make children smarter. Many parents believe that taking up an instrument will help their children have higher IQs and do better in school, but according to researchers, this is not true. They say that there is no link between music lessons and IQ or grades.

To understand the effect of music lessons on children’s intelligence, researchers analyzed 54 previous studies. The studies were published from 1986 to 2019 and involved more than 6,900 children. The researchers found that children’s intelligence and academic skills stayed the same even after learning music. Music lessons did not make children smarter even if the lessons continued for a long time.

According to one of the researchers, many common ideas about how to make children smarter are actually misconceptions. He said that it’s pointless to teach children music with the goal of making them smarter. However, he explained that musical training can have benefits, like improving children’s social skills and self-esteem.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.


  • What do you think are the benefits of studying music? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think music has a great impact on people's lives? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What do you think is the best musical instrument or musical skill to study (ex. guitar, singing)? Why? Discuss.


  • In your country, what are some common misconceptions on how to make children smarter? Discuss.
  • Do you think getting good grades is a good measure of a person's intelligence? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think people should try to make their children and/or themselves smarter? Why or why not? Discuss.