Martin J Bergee, a professor at the University of Kansas School of Music, and his co-author and PhD student, Kevin M. Weingarten, designed a study which aimed to disprove the idea of a link between a students’ musical and mathematical achievement. Yet the results showed statistically significant associations between the two.
“There has been this notion for a long time,” said Bergee, “that not only are these areas related, but there’s a cause-and-effect relationship – that as you get better in one area, you will, per se, get better in another area. The more you study music, the better you’re going to be at math or reading. That’s always been suspect with me.
“I’ve always believed that the relationship is correlational and not causational. I set out to demonstrate that there are probably a number of background variables that are influencing achievement in any academic area – in particular, things like the educational level of the family, where the student lives, whether they are white or non-white, and so forth.”
The study was designed to control the many factors that might have influenced previous, similar studies – race, income, education, etc. And much to his surprise, his new study, ‘Multilevel Models of the Relationship Between Music Achievement and Reading and Math Achievement’, recently published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, showed statistically significant associations between the two at both the individual and the school-district levels.
The study adds to the body of scientific research which shows a link between music and academic achievement and reinforces the importance of music in schools.
The University of Kansas: http://news.ku.edu/2020/11/20/study-shows-strong-links-between-music-and-math-reading-achievement
Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/11/201130150413.htm
Journal of Research in Music Education: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0022429420941432
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/the-athletes-way/202012/music-achievements-academic-perks-hold-under-scrutiny
|TYPE OF STUDY:||ACADEMIC RESEARCH|
|PERIOD OF STUDY:||UNKNOWN|
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