colorful music

Why music???

  • • Music education can improve student performance that is reflected in campus accountability measures and school rankings.

    • Music instruction improves overall academic performance because the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) in the music include many of the same concepts and skills as the TEKS in math, science, reading and social studies. Thus, the music can help students learn the skills and content that are tested by TAKS.

    • Research has proven a direct correlation between improved test scores and the length of time spent studying the music.

    • At-risk students who are involved in music programs are less likely to drop out of school.

    • Music education in public schools contributes to future economic development and job creation in the state.

    • The cultural arts have a substantial impact on the Texas economy and account for 15.7 percent of the state’s permanent jobs and 13.6 percent of the state’s gross product, according to a study by The Perryman Group in 2001.

    • Success in global economic competition in the years ahead will require a creative and innovative workforce and our education system must provide opportunities for students to develop their creative talents through arts education.

    • Music education promotes creativity and cognitive ability that give job applicants a competitive advantage in seeking high-skill jobs.






    Benefits of Music Education

    Why Take Music?

    Convincing research and data on the benefits of a music education are boundless. The singular and most basic message cultivated from these findings is that music programs in the schools help our students and communities in real and substantial ways. Below includes some of the more compelling reasons to the question, “Why Take Music?”

    1. The U.S. Department of Education lists the arts as subjects that college-bound middle and junior high school students should take, stating, “Many colleges view participation in the arts and music as a valuable experience that broadens students’ understanding and appreciation of the world around them. It is also well known and widely recognized that the arts contribute significantly to children’s intellectual development.”

    2. The College Board (administrator of the SAT exam) identifies the arts (including music) as one of the 6 basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college.

    3. According to The College Board in 2006, students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 43 points higher on the math than did students with no music participation.

    4. A separate study concluded in 2000 of more than 10 million high school students found that:

    • Students who take arts classes (including music) have higher math, verbal, and composite SAT scores than students who do not take arts classes.
    • As the number of arts classes increases, so do SAT scores.
    • 4 or more years of arts classes correspond to the strongest relationship with higher SAT scores.
    • Music history, theory, and appreciation have the strongest relationship with higher math SAT scores.

    5. Students in “top quality” instrumental music programs at school score on average 22% better in English and 20% better in Math on standardized tests (such as STAR) than students not enrolled in music classes. This statistic is true for both low-performing schools and very high-performing schools (according to a study conducted by the University of Kansas in 2007).

    6. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted.

    7. In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students in 1999, researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music (band and orchestra) over the middle school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.” Differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time.

    8. According to Grant Venerable, author of “The Paradox of the Silicon Savior,” the “very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.”

    9. In an 11-year study (1987-1998) on the effects of involvement in youth organizations (arts, athletics, or community-based), compared to the National Educational Longitudinal Sample (a general sampling of students), students involved in arts-based groups (including music) were:

    • Over 4 times more likely to participate in community service.
    • 8 times more likely to win a community service award.
    • Nearly twice as likely to read for pleasure.
    • Over 3 times more likely to be elected to a class office in schedule.
    • 3 times more likely to win a school attendance award.
    • 4 times more likely to participate in a math or science fair.
    • Over 4 times more likely to win an award for an essay or poem.
    • 2 times more likely to win an academic achievement award.
    • 4 times more likely to win schoolwide attention for academic achievement.

    Sources: NAfME-National Association for Music Education “Why Music Education?” 2007 and School Music Matters

    For additional resources on the significance of a music education in school, here are several links to useful videos and articles.

    Jack Stamp – Why Music Matters

    The Importance of Music Education – Demonstration by FUSD Advanced Summer Band 2018

    How playing an instrument benefits your brain – Anita Collins

    New NAMM Foundation Study Shows Parents and Teachers in Harmony About Students Learning Music

    Is Music the Key to Success?

    Why Music Education Actually Matters

    20 Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools

    Music Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You, According to Science