The Perks of Being a Music Student- 30 Facts about Benefits of Music Education

28 Mar

Since 1985 March has been known as Music in Our Schools Month with the mission to raise awareness of the importance of music education. This is our compilation of the benefits that music students enjoy.

  1. The opportunity to learn about the arts and to perform as artists is an essential part of a well-rounded curriculum and complete education. The arts help students explore realities, relationships and ideas that cannot be conveyed simply in words or numbers. And the arts engender innovative problem solving that students can apply to other academic disciplines while at the same time, provide experience working as a team- President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Reinvestingin Arts Education:  Winning America’s Future Through CreativeSchools, Washington, DC (May 2011).
  2. 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- From “Playing music can be good for your brain,” SF Chronicle, November 17,  2005 (article on recent Stanford research study linking music and language).
  3. Students who participated in school band or orchestra have the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs) among any other group in our society. – H. Con. Res. 266, United States Senate (6/13/2000).
  4. Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 percent graduation rate and 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to schools without music education who average 72.9 percent graduation and 84.9 percent attendance. -Harris Interactive poll of high school principals, (2006).
  5. A study from Columbia University revealed that students who study arts are more cooperative with their teachers and peers, have higher levels self-confidence, and are more equipped to express themselves and their ideas
  6. The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT’s than students with no participation.
  7. According to a 2003 Gallup survey, 95 percent of Americans believe that music is a key component in a child’s well-rounded education- American Attitudes on Music, Music Making and Music Education, The Gallup Organization (2003).
  8. A research team reports that early music training dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills. These findings indicate that music uniquely enhances higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering- Neurological Research, (Feb 28, 1997); Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine.
  9. Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school- Lewis Thomas, Case for Music in the Schools, Phi Delta Kappa, (1994).
  10. High school music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages (GPA) than non-musicians in the same school- National Educational Longitudinal Study of (1988).
  11. Nine out of ten adults and teenagers who play instruments agree that music making brings the family closer together- Music Making and Our Schools, American Music Conference, (2000).
  12.  With music in schools, students connect to each other better-greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm- Eric Jensen, Arts With the Brain in Mind, (2001).
  13. 22. 71% of Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll believe that teenagers who play an instrument are less likely to have disciplinary problems-Gallup Poll, “American Attitudes Toward Music,” (2003).
  14. College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts for performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol-related problems- Houston Chronicle, (January 11, 1998).
  15. The foremost technical designers and engineers in Silicon Valley are almost all practicing musicians-Dee Dickinson, Music and the Mind, (1993).
  16. The world’s top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades- International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test  (1988).why-music
  17. Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology (for high school students) play one or more musical instruments. This led the Siemens Foundation to host a recital at Carnegie Hall in 2004, featuring some of these young people, after which a panel of experts debated the nature of the apparent science/music link.  -The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, (Feb, 2005).
  18. Research made between music and intelligence concluded that music training is far greater than computer instruction in improving children’s abstract reasoning skills- Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, “Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial-temporal reasoning,” Neurological Research, vol. 19, (February 1997).
  19. Musicians had a thicker corpus callosum, the nerve fibers that connect the two halves of the brain- G. Schlaug, L. Jancke, Y. Huang and H. Steinmetz (1994); “In vivo morphometry of interhemispheric asymmetry and connectivity in musicians.” In I. Deliege (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for music perception and cognition (pp. 417-418), Liege, Belgium.
  20. Arts Education aids students in skills needed in the workplace: flexibility, the ability to solve problems and communicate; the ability to learn new skills, to be creative and innovative, and to strive for excellence- Joseph M. Calahan, Director of Corporate Communications, Xerox. Corporation.
  21. According to Americans for the Arts, the country’s leading non-profit organization for the arts, “students with high levels of arts involvement are less likely to drop out of school by grade 10.”
  22. This organization also cites a Stanford University study conducted between 1987 and 1998, found that young people who participated in an arts program, at least three hours on three days of each week throughout at least a year, were 4 times as likely to be recognized for academic achievement, 3 times as likely to be elected to their class office, 4 times as likely to participate in a math and science fair, and 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance than their peers who did not participate in an arts program- Americans for the Arts http://www.americansforthearts.org/ (8/6/2004) .
  23. “Arts education increases interest in academic learning, cognitive and basic skills development and the development of academic achievement skills.” –R.R. Konrad, Empathy, Arts and Social Studies, (2000).
  24. “During moments of musical euphoria, blood travels through the brain to areas where other stimuli can produce feelings of contentment and joy- and travels away from the brain cell areas associated with depression and fear.” –Dr. Frederick Tims, rept. in AMC Music News (6/2/1999).
  25. “Students of lower socioeconomic status gain as much or more from arts instruction than those of higher socioeconomic status.” –James Catterall et al, (1999).
  26. Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others. Through music, we can introduce children to the richness and diversity of the human family and tothe myriad rhythms of life.” — Daniel A. Carp, Eastman Kodak Company Chairman and CEO.
  27. “Since studying an instrument requires years of practice and learning, it may create alternate connections in the brain that could compensate for cognitive declines as we get older,” – Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, an assistant professor of neurology and radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University.
  28. Research from the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University shows that music education could give students a boost in overcoming obstacles faced by low socioeconomic status-  http://www.soc.northwestern.edu/brainvolts/projects/music/

  29. A study by Shields (2001) using music education in a mentoring program found a significant positive increase in self-perception derived from musical competence and a correlation between musical competence and global self-worth.
  30. Catterall (2012) demonstrated that the arts significantly boost student involvement – both for low SES and high SES groups — in extracurricular activities and student government, reduce discipline problems and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from both high school and a four-year college. In short, music helps improve the overall quality of a young person’s life.

One Response to “The Perks of Being a Music Student- 30 Facts about Benefits of Music Education”

  1. Matthew Stidham April 2, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Excellent advocacy materials! Thanks for sharing Berklee!

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