Longitudinal data on the effects of learning an instrument

The German Socio-Economic Panel study (SOEP) is believed by its authors to be the best available longitudinal data set for studying the effects of learning a musical instrument.

Its most recent report by Adrian Hille and Jürgen Schupp, concludes that even after controlling for a large number of social background characteristics, there are strong differences in terms of cognitive and non-cognitive skills between adolescents who learned a musical instrument during childhood and those who did not.

Learning a musical instrument is associated with better cognitive skills and school grades as well as higher conscientiousness, openness, and ambition. Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theatre or dance. These effects do not differ by socio-economic status.




BENEFIT: Cognitive development
TARGET GROUP: Young people
AGE: 8-17 years
MUSIC TYPE: Learning an instrument
TYPE OF STUDY: Academic research – household panel study
PERIOD OF STUDY: Not relevant
DATE: 2013
PLACE: Germany

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