Music Matters for School Age Children

Research Summaries

  • MacPhail students at Whittier International Elementary School in south Minneapolis performed at higher levels, compared to their peers, in attendance, social skills, and academic achievements. These benefits increased with each successive year of MacPhail music instruction. (“Preliminary Analysis of Piano/Violin Intervention on Mathematics Achievement,” University of Minnesota)
  • The College Entrance Examination Board found that students in music participation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math tests than students with no arts participation. (“College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers,” Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Exam Board, 2001)
  • Students who participate in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs among any group in our society. (U.S. House of Representatives, Concurrent Res. 266, June 13, 2000)

TED Music and the Brain

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.


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