Music Education in THE News
Music Training Strengthens Children's Brains, Decision-Making Network
University of Southern California, MedicaXpress, 11/14/17
If the brain is a muscle, then learning to play an instrument and read music is the ultimate exercise. Two new studies from the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC show that as little as two years of music instruction has multiple benefits. Music training can change both the structure of the brain's white matter, which carries signals through the brain, and gray matter, which contains most of the brain's neurons that are active in processing information. Music instruction also boosts engagement of brain networks that are responsible for decision making and the ability to focus attention and inhibit impulses.
The Joy of Learning to Play an Instrument Later in Life
Diane Cole, The Wall Street Journal, 4/23/17
More people in their 50s and 60s are finding that taking up a musical instrument or singing improves their lives in many ways. There used to be a “widespread belief that if you did not begin learning a musical instrument in your childhood or school years, you had missed your chance,” says Roy Ernst, professor emeritus at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. “The field of music education didn’t offer many opportunities” for adults to learn, he says. Now such attitudes have changed with gusto. “People of any age can learn to play and [gain] a level of satisfaction,” says Dr. Ernst,
NYC's only K-12 school with music as core subject sees high outcomes
Tara García Mathewson, EducationDIVE, 1/17/17
The school's leaders believe intensive music instruction is a direct contributor to academic success. Some of New York City’s highest-performing students spend much of their time studying music. These students attend Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center, a public school founded in 1996 as a public-private partnership.
Want to 'train your brain'? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument
Mo Costandi, The Guardian, 10/24/16
While brain training games and apps may not live up to their hype, it is well established that certain other activities and lifestyle choices can have neurological benefits that promote overall brain health and may help to keep the mind sharp as we get older. One of these is musical training. Research shows that learning to play a musical instrument is beneficial for children and adults alike, and may even be helpful to patients recovering from brain injuries.
A Musical Fix for American Schools
Joanne Lipman, The Wall Street Journal, 10/10/14
A growing body of evidence suggests that music could trump many of the much more expensive “fixes” that we have thrown at the education system. Research shows that music training boosts IQ, focus and persistence.
Music Education and the Multiplier Effect
Huff Post, Katherine Damkohler, 6/17/2015
The value of incorporating music into a child's education cannot be understated. There is a heap of incontestable research showing that an education rich in music improves students' cognitive function and academic performance. Simply put, children learn better when music is part of their school curriculum.
The science of why music improves our memory and verbal intelligence
Amy Spray, The Washington Post, 7/21/15
Musical training has shown to lead to improvements in a wide variety of different skills, including memory and spatial learning for example. In addition, language skills such as verbal memory, literacy and verbal intelligence have been shown to strongly benefit from musical training.
Is Music the Key to Success?”
The New York Times, Joanne Lipman, 10/12/13
Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields? .. The phenomenon extends beyond the math-music association. Strikingly, many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.
Music Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You, According to Science
Tom Barnes, Music.Mic
Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance. Kids who take music lessons have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious. And that's just the beginning.
Beyond the Classroom: If Shakespeare lives, why not Beethoven?
Laurie Futterman, Miani Herald, 7/7/15.
Study after study about education reveals the importance of art and music classes. And yet budget after budget, states keep cutting back the arts. So if we still ask our students to read and interpret Shakespeare, shouldn’t we be teaching the same for Mozart?
Music lessons spur emotional and behavioral growth in children, new study says
Amy Ellis Nutt, Washington Post, 1/7/2015
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.
Could playing Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" and other music improve children's brains?
Science Daily, 12/23/2014
A University of Vermont College of Medicine child psychiatry team has found that musical training might also help kids focus their attention, control their emotions and diminish their anxiety.
Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You've Taken Music Lessons
Diane Cole, National Geographic, 1/3/14
A growing number of studies show that music lessons in childhood can do something perhaps more valuable for the brain than childhood gains: provide benefits for the long run, as we age, in the form of an added defense against memory loss, cognitive decline, and diminished ability to distinguish consonants and spoken words.
Here's What Happens Inside Your Brain When You Listen to Music, in 3 Mind-Blowing GIFs
Tom Barnes, Music.Mic, 6/3/15
Every time you listen to a piece of music, you're actually giving yourself a deep, full-brain workout.
mUSIC Education Studies
Music instruction improves cognitive, socio-emotional development in young children
Medical News, Life Sciences & Medicine, 6/16/16
Music instruction appears to accelerate brain development in young children, particularly in the areas of the brain that are responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception and reading skills, according to initial results of a five-year study by USC neuroscientists.
How Learning a Musical Instrument Affects the Development of Skills
The German Socio-Economic Panel Study at DIW Berlin, 9/25/13
Adolescents with music training have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious. These effects do not differ by socio-economic status. Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance.
The Impact of Music on Childhood and Adolescent Achievement
Social Science Quarterly, 1/15/09
Music participation, both inside and outside of school, is associated with measures of academic achievement among children and adolescents.
Cortical Thickness Maturation and Duration of Music Training: Health-Promoting Activities Shape Brain Development
Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 9/3/14
Playing a musical instrument was associated with more rapid cortical thickness maturation within areas implicated in motor planning and coordination, visuospatial ability, and emotion and impulse regulation.
Music training alters the course of adolescent auditory development
PNAS: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 6/19/15
Music training initiated as late as adolescence can enhance neural processing of sound and confer benefits for language skills. These results establish the potential for experience-driven brain plasticity during adolescence and demonstrate that in-school programs can engender these changes.
How Children, Adults, and Communities Benefit from Choruses: The Chorus Impact Study
Chorus America, 2009
Children who sing in choruses get significantly better grades in school than kids who have never been part of a choir, according to their parents, and substantial majorities of parents with children in choirs say their child’s ability or performance in English/language arts, mathematics, and academics overall improved after their child joined a choir.
Music Benefits Across Lifespan: Enhanced Processing of Speech in Noise
The Hearing Review, 7/29/14
Intriguing research continues to focus on music, the brain, and music’s potential in honing auditory acuity, including speech-in-noise performance and the enhancement of listening abilities. This article reviews many of these exciting findings and looks at clinical implications for auditory training and aural rehabilitation.
Cognitive Control in Auditory Working Memory Is Enhanced in Musicians
PLoS One, 1/15/10
Musical competence may confer cognitive advantages that extend beyond processing of familiar musical sounds. Behavioural evidence indicates a general enhancement of both working memory and attention in musicians. It is possible that musicians, due to their training, are better able to maintain focus on task-relevant stimuli, a skill which is crucial to working memory.
The Glee Effect? More Americans Say Music Education Prepares People for Their Careers and Problem Solving Than in 2007
The Harris Poll, 7/24/14
The more time one spends in a music program, the more they are to say it has been influential in contributing to their current level of personal fulfillment. Music education can provide more than just learning how to sing and/or play an instrument. It also has the ability to provide various skills that people may need for success in a job or career outside of music.
Arts Education Studies
Involvement in the Arts and Human Development
The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Informaiton Studies, September 1999
Positive academic developments for children engaged in the arts are seen at each step in the research. Students who report consisten high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show significntly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.
The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies
National Endowment for the Arts, March 2012
The report’s authors use four large national databases to analyze the relationship between arts
involvement and academic and social achievements.
The Well-Rounded Curriculum
Secretary Arne Duncan's Remarks at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum, 4/9/10
The arts significantly boost student achievement, reduce discipline problems, and increase the odds that students will go on to graduate from college. Second, arts education is essential to stimulating the creativity and innovation that will prove critical to young Americans competing in a global economy. And last, but not least, the arts are valuable for their own sake.... Low-income students who play in the orchestra or band are more than twice as likely to perform at the highest levels in math as peers who do not play music.
ArtsEdSearch - Research Overview
ArtsEdSearch summarizes the results of studies exploring the link between arts education and academic, cognitive, personal, social and civic outcomes.
National Guild for Community Arts Education Resource Center
Arts education programs that are responsive to community needs foster cognitive development, increase creativity, improve self-esteem, and promote better health. They can also advance economic growth, promote a sense of shared culture and community belonging, and be a valuable and enriching part of K–12 education.
Critical Evidence: How the Arts Benefit Student Achievement
Sandra S. Ruppert, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies 2006. Washington, DC
Students with high arts involvement perform better on standardized achievement tests; develop stronger academic skills including math, reading, writing and language development; and participate in more community service. Learning to play an instrument or participating in dance classes has been shown to help at-risk youth develop confidence and self-esteem.
Staying in School: Arts Education and New York City High School Graduation Rates.
The Center for Arts Education, October 2009
The arts play a key role in keeping students in high school and graduating on time. Access to arts education in school offers distinct benefits to economically disadvantaged youth and students at risk of dropping out.
SAT Scores of Students Who Study the Arts: What We Can and Cannot Conclude about the Association Kathryn Vaughn and Ellen Winner (Fall 2000)
Students engaged in arts learning for all four years of high school scored substantially higher on the SAT than students with six months or less training in the arts.