Why Play Music-Kids

In This Article:

How Children Benefit from Music Education In Schools

Educational Benefits/Facts:

  • Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons (Arete Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Arete Music Academy. Accessed July 17, 2014).
  • Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students (3rd graders) who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests (Hille, Katrin, et al. "Associations between music education, intelligence, and spelling ability in elementary school." Adv Cogn Psychol 7, 2011: 1–6. Web. Accessed February 24, 2015).
  • Schools that have music programs have an attendance rate of 93.3% compared to 84.9% in schools without music programs (The National Association for Music Education. "Music Makes the Grade." The National Association for Music Education. Accessed February 24, 2015).
  • Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community (Nature Neuroscience, April 2007).
  • 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).
  • Students at schools with excellent music programs had higher English test scores across the country thanstudents in schools with low-quality music programs; this was also true when considering mathematics (Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott).
  • 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 (Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott).
  • 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 (Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott).
  • Substantial majorities of both teachers and parents view student access to music and arts education as “extremely” or “very” important (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Both parents and teachers have high standards and expectations for quality music programs, especially the importance of competent, certified teachers (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • On average, students have had only about three years of in-school music education, according to parents; more than a third have had one year or less, with one in six of all students having had no music instruction at all (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Substantial majorities of both parents and teachers want to see the scope of elementary school music education expanded (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Substantial majorities of teachers and parents believe budget cuts in music programs hurt students and that music is not as adequately funded as other core subjects. Most teachers and parents rate the funding for their own school’s music program as average or worse (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Asked about 15 possible ways to cut school budgets, both teachers and parents are more willing to make cuts in 12 of the 14 other curricular, administrative and service areas than cut music and arts education. Only the number and salaries of teachers are more sacrosanct (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • More than 80 percent of teachers, and nearly as many parents, say that the time allotted to music education—adequate rehearsal time, class duration and class frequency— is important for a quality music education program (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Eight in 10 teachers and more than seven in 10 parents believe the number of minutes of music education required every week is an important quality component (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • The number and quality of musical instruments, along with materials, are high on parents’ lists of “must haves” for a quality program. But many teachers report that these essentials are in short supply (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Fewer than half of teachers (42 percent) and parents (46 percent) say their schools have the musical instruments they need for all students who want to learn to play (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Just 41 percent of teachers and 46 percent of parents say their schools have enough sheet music for every participating child (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Teachers in urban schools are more likely to consider music and arts education as core to the curriculum (38 percent) and value access to it (81 percent), compared to teachers in rural areas (30 percent of whom consider music and arts education as core to the curriculum and 70 percent of whom value access to it) (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Urban teachers also believe more strongly that music education can build 21st century skills, such as communication, critical thinking, problem-solving and innovation skills (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • African-American parents (76 percent) and Hispanic parents (75 percent) are significantly more likely than Caucasian parents (67 percent) to enroll their children in school music classes where opportunities exist, and they are more interested in their children participating in virtually every type of music class in or out of school (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • African-American and Hispanic parents generally believe more strongly in a wide array of potential benefits from music education, are more likely to have seen these positive impacts on their own child and more strongly support expanding music education programs. Ironically, these parents also are more likely to report that there are no music programs in their schools (21 percent of African-American parents and 22 percent of Hispanic parents report this, compared to 15 percent of Caucasian parents)(NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Students in the West are more likely to have school music programs that take place only outside of school hours—and they have access to fewer types of programs as well (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • It’s  striking that both teachers (87 percent) and parents (79 percent) strongly believe music education has a positive impact on overall academic performance (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • More than eight in 10 teachers (83 percent) and more than seven in 10 parents (73 percent) say budget cuts in music education are detrimental to students (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • On average, both teachers and parents would be more willing to cut spending in 12 of  15 other programs before they’d cut funding for music and arts education (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Teachers in Title I schools are more likely to report that their schools have no music program at all. In Title I schools that do offer music programs, teacher responses suggest that they have fewer full-time music teachers— and teachers in these schools are more likely to report there are no professional development opportunities for the music teachers they do have (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Federal education policy specifically authorizes the use Title I funds for music and arts education. But few teachers— even the majority who know what Title I is—are aware of this significant opportunity to provide or improve music programs in the country. Even fewer parents are familiar with Title I, let alone the fact that Title I funds can be used for music education (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college (Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, 1983 [still in use], The College Board, New York).
  • Nine in ten adults believe students benefit from having music included in their curriculum (89 percent) ("Public Schools are Improving Their Grades, but Private Schools Remain at the Head of the Class," Harris Poll, September 29, 2015).
  • Research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada showed that grade-school kids who took music lessons scored higher on tests of general and spatial cognitive development, the abilities that form the basis for performance in math and engineering (http://nisom.com/index.php/instruction/health-benefits).
  • A study of 8 to 11-year-olds found that, those who had extra-curricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training (Forgeard et al., "Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning," PLOS One, 2008).
  • A study of almost one thousand Finnish pupils who took part in extended music classes, found they reported higher satisfaction at school in almost every area, even those not related to the music classes themselves (Eerola & Eerola, "Extended music education enhances the quality of school life," Music Education Research, 2013).
  • A 2012 U.S. Department of Education report that compared surveys from 1999-2000 and 2009-2010 found that music was offered in 94 percent of elementary schools during both timeframes, and that visual art offerings dropped only slightly, from 87 percent of schools in 2000 to 82 in 2010 (Jessica Siegel, "Amid Tests and Tight Budgets, Schools Find Room for Arts," CityLimits.Org, June 7, 2013).
  • Learning a musical language could have cognitive benefits similar to those evident in bilingual children.  Although this view has intuitive appeal because music and language are both auditory communication systems, the positive effects of bilingualism are evident for fluid intelligence (i.e., executive control) but not for crystallized intelligence (e.g., knowledge acquired through experience, such as vocabulary), whereas the effects of music lessons appear to extend to both domains (E. Glenn Schellenberg, "Music and Cognitive Abilities," Current Directions in Psychological Science Journal, Vol. 14, No. 6, December 2005).


Cognitive Benefits/Facts:

  • Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory (Strait, D.L. and N. Kraus, Biological impact of auditory expertise across the life span: musicians as a model of auditory learning. Hearing Research, 2013.)
  • Music training in childhood “fundamentally alters the nervous system such that neural changes persist in adulthood after auditory training has ceased" (Skoe, E. & N. Kraus.  2012.  A little goes a long way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood.  The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(34):11507–11510).
  • Studies have shown that young children who take keyboard lessons have greater abstract reasoning abilities than their peers, and that these abilities improve over time with sustained training in music (Rauscher, F.H. , & Zupan, M., "Classroom keyboard instruction improves kindergarten children's spatial-temporal performance: A field experiment" Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15 , 215-228.2000).
  • Children with learning disabilities or dyslexia who tend to lose focus with more noise could benefit greatly from music lessons (Arete Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Arete Music Academy. Accessed July 17, 2014).
  • Young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training (National Association for Music Education. "The Benefits of the Study of Music." National Association for Music Education. Accessed July 17, 2014).
  • Young Children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training (Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at McMaster University, 2006).
  • Musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, visiospatial processing, mathematics, and IQ (Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at McMaster University, 2006).
  • Music education sharpens student attentiveness (Arts Education Partnership, 2011).
  • Music education equips students to be creative (Arts Education Partnership, 2011).
  • Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory (Strait, D.L. and N. Kraus, Biological impact of auditory expertise across the life span: musicians as a model of auditory learning. Hearing Research, 2013.)
  • According to research published in a 2014 article in Parents magazine, learning how to play percussion instruments helps children develop coordination and motor skills, because they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet (Kwan, A. 2013, “6 Benefits of Music Lessons,” Parents).
  • Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns (Lynn Kleiner, founder of Music Rhapsody in Redondo Beach, CA).
  • Certain instruments, such as percussion, help children develop coordination and motor skills; they require movement of the hands, arms, and feet (Kristen Regester, Early Childhood Program Manager at Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago. Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation).
  • In order to fully reap the cognitive benefits of a music class, kids can’t just sit there and let the sound of music wash over them. They have to be actively engaged in the music and participate in the class (Dr. Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory).
  • Researchers found that after two years, children who not only regularly attended music classes, but also actively participated in the class, showed larger improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers (Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, quoted in Melissa Locker, "This Is How Music Can Change Your Brain," Time, December 16, 2014).
  • A study at the University of California at Irvine demonstrated that young kids who participated in music instruction showed dramatic enhancements in abstract reasoning skills. In fact, researchers have found neural firing patterns that suggest that music may hold the key to higher brain function (Rauscher, Shaw, Levine , Ky and Wright, "Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship," University of California , Irvine , 1994).
  • Playing a musical instrument strengthens eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, and kids who study an instrument learn a lot about discipline, dedication and the rewards of hard work (http://nisom.com/index.php/instruction/health-benefits).
  • Music training not only helps children develop fine motor skills, but aids emotional and behavioral maturation as well, according to a new study, one of the largest to investigate the effects of playing an instrument on brain development (Amy Ellis Nutt, "Music lessons spur emotional and behavioral growth in children, new study says," The Washington Post, January 7, 2015).
  • Music training leads to greater gains in auditory and motor function when begun in young childhood; by adolescence, the plasticity that characterizes childhood has begun to decline.  Nevertheless, our results establish that music training impacts the auditory system even when it is begun in adolescence, suggesting that a modest amount of training begun later in life can affect neural function (Adam T. Tierney, Jennifer Krizman, Nina Kraus, "Music training alters the course of adolescent auditory development," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015).
  • A Canadian study of 48 preschoolers and published in 2011, found that verbal IQ increased after only 20 days of music training. In fact, the increase was five times that of a control group of preschoolers, who were given visual art lessons, says lead researcher Sylvain Moreno, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He found that music training enhanced the children’s “executive function”—that is, their brains’ ability to plan, organize, strategize and solve problems. And he found the effect in 90% of the children, an unusually high rate (Joanne Lipman, "A Musical Fix for American Schools," The Wall Street Journal,  October 10, 2014).
  • In a 2009 study in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers used an MRI to study the brains of 31 6-year-old children, before and after they took lessons on musical instrument for 15 months. They found that the music students’ brains grew larger in the areas that control fine motor skills and hearing—and that students’ abilities in both those areas also improved. The corpus callosum, which connects the left and right sides of the brain, grew as well (Joanne Lipman, "A Musical Fix for American Schools," The Wall Street Journal,  October 10, 2014).
  • Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills (© 2015 Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization).


Social Benefits/Facts:

  • Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education (Arte Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Statistical-Benefits-Of-Music-In-Education. Accessed July 17, 2014).
  • Music education supports better study habits and self-esteem (Arts Education Partnership, 2011).
  • Hispanic and African-American parents generally feel music provides more benefits to children than other parents do. Like their urban counterparts, however, they feel they’re being shortchanged in a number of ways—though they’re taking steps to overcome these deficits that could model solutions for other groups (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Majorities of both parents and teachers see a myriad of social-emotional, academic, 21st century skill, community, and physical and health benefits from music education—especially social-emotional benefits (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Majorities of both parents and teachers are aware of research on the effects of music on the developing brain, and have personally experienced the benefits of music education on their own children or students (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Four of the top five benefits teachers see in the potential of music education to help students express themselves (cited by 92 percent of teachers), become more confident (90 percent), and develop better practice habits (89 percent) and more self-discipline (88 percent) (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Majorities of parents whose children are involved in music classes also credit music education for making them happier, more focused, more selfdisciplined, stronger academically and more helpful (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Taking music lessons offers a space where kids learn how to accept and give constructive criticism, according to research published in The Wall Street Journal in 2014 (Joanne Lipman, "A Musical Fix for American Schools," The Wall Street Journal,  October 10, 2014).
  • Group classes require peer interaction and communication, which encourage teamwork, as children must collaborate to create a crescendo or an accelerando (Kristen Regester, Early Childhood Program Manager at Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia College Chicago. Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation).
  • Playing an instrument teaches kids to persevere through hours, months, and sometimes years of practice before they reach specific goals, such as performing with a band or memorizing a solo piece (Mary Larew, Suzuki violin teacher at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut. Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation).
  • Lessons offer a forum where children can learn to accept and give constructive criticism. Turning negative feedback into positive change helps build self-confidence (Mary Larew, Suzuki violin teacher at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut. Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation).
  • Making music together, children learn to work as a team while they each contribute to the song in their own way. At the same time, music helps children learn that together they can make something larger than the sum of its parts (© 2015 Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization).
  • More benefits of music for children include learning cooperation, sharing, compromise, creativity, and concentration - skills that become invaluable as they enter school, face new challenges, and begin to form new friendships and develop social skills (© 2015 Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization).
  • Kids who make music have been shown to get along better with classmates and have fewer discipline problems. More of them get into their preferred colleges, too (http://nisom.com/index.php/instruction/health-benefits).
  • 95 percent of Americans consider music to be part of a well-rounded education, and 93 percent feel that schools should offer music education as part of the regular curriculum.  Nearly four in five (79 percent) even say that music education should be mandated for every student in school (2003 Gallup Poll conducted for NAMM).


Quotes/Testimonials:

"One of the biggest kicks is to see a child come into the music program as an introvert and leave as a student leader. That's a tremendous process." - Dick Zentner, 2013 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award Recipient

“We have this holistic opportunity to teach children the benefits of direct participatory music education.” -  Linda Edelstein, Milwaukee youth symphony orchestra

“At this time when you are making critical and far-reaching budget and program decisions…I write to bring to your attention the importance of the arts as a core academic subject and part of a complete education for all students. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines the arts as a core subject, and the arts play a significant role in children’s development and learning process. The arts can help students become tenacious, team-oriented problem solvers who are confident and able to think creatively.” - Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, Letter to Schools and Community Leaders, 2009

"Early sustained music learning is actually the frame upon which education itself can be built for low-income kids." - Margaret Martin, founder, Harmony Project, quoted in PBS NEWS HOUR. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education-jan-june14-harmony_01-04

"In science I had very low grades and then once I started learning about music and being able to practice and concentrating, my science grades have gone higher and so have my other grade in other subjects. I would concentrate in my music and it was something to be focused on and not be bothered by anyone. I was using that on my homework and on any type of class work also. Science is now one of my best subjects." - Vianey Calixto, student and Harmony Project Participant quoted in PBS NEWS HOUR. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education-jan-june14-harmony_01-04

"While more affluent students do better in school than children from lower income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset this academic gap." - Dr. Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory quoted in "Musical training 'can improve language and reading" http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28703013

"Music is no cure-all, nor is it likely to turn your child into a Nobel Prize winner. But there is compelling evidence that it can boost children’s academic performance and help fix some of our schools’ most intractable problems." - Joanne Lipman, "A Musical Fix for American Schools," The Wall Street Journal,  October 10, 2014

"A kid with a music degree isn’t limited to a performance or teaching career. Musicians are everywhere. We are project managers, marketers, Finance folks, IT people and engineers. In my twenty-some years as a corporate HR person, I was always impressed by the way musical people excelled at logic and non-linear thinking, both." - Liz Ryan, "Let the kids study music, already!" Forbes, September 3, 2014

"Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career." - Lisa Phillips, "The artistic edge: 7 skills children need to succeed in an increasingly right brain world," ARTSblog, Americans for the Arts, 2013

"When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success." - Lisa Phillips, "The artistic edge: 7 skills children need to succeed in an increasingly right brain world," ARTSblog, Americans for the Arts, 2013

"The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives." - Lisa Phillips, "The artistic edge: 7 skills children need to succeed in an increasingly right brain world," ARTSblog, Americans for the Arts, 2013

"When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role." - Lisa Phillips, "The artistic edge: 7 skills children need to succeed in an increasingly right brain world," ARTSblog, Americans for the Arts, 2013

“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.” - Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education

“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” - Gerald Ford, Former President of the United States

“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.” - Bill Clinton, Former President of the United States

"A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world… We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate." - Paul Ostergard, Vice President, Citicorp

"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 Cooperate Communications, Xerox Corporation

"The hope of our music, the entire future of our music, unquestionably lies in our children." - Aubertine Woodward Moore, "Our Children, The Hope of Music: Building a Musical America," The Art World, Vol. 2, No. 6, pp. 512-514, September 1917

"Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a nonmusician.  "There's some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training.  When you're a musician and you're playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain." - Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The John Hopkins University, quoted in "The Benefits of Music Education," pbs.org, Laura Lewis Brown

"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning." - Plato

More Benefits/Facts:

  • Research tells us children who play music do better in school and in life.
  • A recent Gallup Poll revealed that 94 percent of Americans consider music to be part of a well-rounded education. (Source: NAMM Gallup poll 2006.)
  • A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. (Source: Burton, J., Horowitz, R., Abeles, H. Champions of Change, Arts Education Partnership, 1999.)
  • Students indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks. (Source: Barry, N., Taylor, K. and K. Walls Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, AEP, 2002.)
  • A study examined the influence of music education on nonmusical abilities, the effects of music lessons on academic performance, and cognitive abilities. The study revealed that students who participated in music lessons showed statistically higher intelligence quotients. (Source: Glenn Schellenberg, Music Lessons Enhance IQ, Psychological Science, Vol. 15, No. 8, 2004.)
  • A study of rural and urban inner-city schools found that arts programs helped schools in economically disadvantaged communities develop students’ critical-thinking and problem solving skills. (Source: Stevenson, L., Deasy, R., Third Space: When Learning Matters, AEP, 2005.)
  • With music in schools, students connect to each other better— greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm. (Source: Jensen, E., Arts With the Brain In Mind, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001.)
  • The vast majority —96 percent—of the school principals interviewed in a recent study agree that participation in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school. Further, 89 percent of principals feel that a high-quality music education program contributes to their school achieving higher graduation rates. (Source: Harris Interactive Poll, 2006.)
  • The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace. (Source: U.S. House of Representatives, Concurrent Resolution 355, March 6, 2006.)

 

Photo credit: Rob Davidson Photography

Age Group: