Researchers from the University of Kansas have confirmed what decades of anecdotal evidence and the evidence on this site and elsewhere suggests : that increased music participation has important direct and indirect effects on student achievement and engagement.
The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) in Washington DC published a useful advocacy document for music education in 2011, funded by the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium. It was based on a review of an extensive body of high-quality, evidence-based studies that document student learning outcomes in and through music.
Another study has revealed a biological link between early music training and improved executive functioning in children and adults. The controlled study by researchers from the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital used functional MRI brain imaging to show the connection. Executive functions are the high-level cognitive processes that enable people to quickly process and retain information, regulate their behaviours, make good choices, solve problems, plan and adjust to changing mental demands.
Dr. Nina Kraus discusses ongoing work at the Auditory Neuroscience Lab examining the benefits of music making on the brain. See also the following pages
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. 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. To read more, click anywhere on this excerpt …
Tom Barnes summarises the scientific reasons why schools in America should not cut music education, referencing studies into cognitive abilities, confidence, attendance levels and civic responsibility. To read more, click anywhere on this excerpt …