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Benefits of Music Education


The 1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress in arts education (visual art, music, theatre and dance) studied the general population of 8th graders across the country and found that students are not achieving at high levels in responding to, performing or creating works of art. However, NAEP found that students receiving classroom arts instruction outperformed other students and that instruction increased all of their arts abilities, including the ability to create works of quality that communicated complex ideas and feelings – a fundamental communication skill in contemporary society. Unfortunately, less than half of the nation’s 8th graders are being taught the arts...Even at schools where [music and art] courses are offered, not everyone takes part. Only one in four 8th graders reported being asked to sing or play a musical instrument at least once a week.


From1997 National Assessment of Educational Progress in Arts Education



Stanford University research has found for the first time that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word, a finding that researchers say could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems... ‘Especially for children ... who aren't good at rapid auditory processing and are high-risk for becoming poor readers, they may especially benefit from musical training.’


From “Playing music can be good for your brain,” SF Chronicle, November 17, 2005 (article on recent Stanford research study linking music and language)



Results From The Elementary School Study prove that:

• Students in top-quality music programs scored 22% better in English and 20% better in mathematics than students in deficient music programs.

• These academic differences were fairly consistent across geographic regions.

• Students at the four elementary schools with high-quality music programs scored better than students participating in programs considered to be of lower quality.



Results From The Middle Schools Study

• Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 19% higher in English than students in schools without a music program, and 32% higher in English than students in a deficient choral program.

• Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 17% higher in mathematics than children in schools without a music program, and 33% higher in mathematics than students in a deficient choral program.

• Students at schools with excellent music programs had higher English test scores across the country than students in schools with low-quality music programs; this was also true when considering mathematics.

• Students in all regions with lower-quality instrumental programs scored higher in English and mathematics than students who had no music at all.


Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott



A report released by the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse found that students involved in courses beyond the required ‘basics’ were less likely to be involved with drugs. The study went on to show that ‘Secondary students who participated in Band or Orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances’ (Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana or any illicit drug).


From Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

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