Did You Know?

  • Music students are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. For comparison, (44%) of biochemistry majors were admitted. Also, a study of 7,500 university students revealed that music students scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math.1
  • Music study can help kids understand advanced music concepts. A grasp of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to math at higher levels, and children who do not master these areas cannot understand more advanced math critical to high-tech fields. Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. Second-grade students were given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time using newly designed math software. The group scored over 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who used only the math software.2
  • University study found that pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly for students given piano instruction over a three-year period. They also found that self-esteem and musical skills measures improved for the students.3
  • Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades.4
  • Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically in early school years. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation. Students who practice on average 3 hours daily score 3 times better in school. Students who succeed in musical careers in high school are 3 times more likely to succeed in college and after school.5
  • High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework or experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts. A ten-year study, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement.6

References

  1. "The Comparative Academic Abilities of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University," Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480. "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February, 1994.
  2. Neurological Research, March, 1999.
  3. Dr. Eugenia Costa-Giomi, "The McGill Piano Project: Effects of three years of piano instruction on children's cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and self-esteem,” 1998.
  4. National Educational Longitudinal Study, U.S. Department of Education.
  5. "The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children," Debby Mitchell.
  6. Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, 2001, Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997.