Why Music Education Matters

Thousands of scientific and academic studies have shown that music education improves academic achievement, builds communication skills, fosters creativity, develops teamwork and increases engagement in school.

Quick Facts:

Students who studied music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT than students with no arts participation. Students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math. (Source: The College Entrance Examination Board).

Musicians have structurally and functionally different brains compared with non-musicians. In particular, the areas of the brain used to process music are larger or more active in musicians. Even just starting to learn a musical instrument changes the neurophysiology of the brain. (Source: Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute)

Students who report consistent, high-level involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12. (Source: Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning)

Music training improves scores in spatial-temporal reasoning used in higher levels of science and math. (Source: Keeping Mozart in Mind)

Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district. (Source: Journal of Research in Music Education)

Playing an instrument helps youngsters better process speech in noisy classrooms and more accurately interpret the nuances of language that are conveyed by subtle changes in the human voice. (Source: Physiology and Communication Sciences at Northwestern University)

A correlation exists between the amount of music training and the amount of improvement in reading fluency in children. (Source: Learning, Arts and the Brain)

Music activities engage both the left and right hemisphere of the brain. In fact, studying music involves more right- and left-brain functions than any other activity measured. (Source: Good Music, Brighter Children)

For more information on why schools need music education, please download The Benefits of the Study of Music published by The National Association for Music Education.