Why Take Music?
Testimonials to the importance of a well-rounded education
that includes instruction in the arts, specifically music.

We’ve all seen the research that shows how music aids brain development and makes students smarter. Whether or not you believe in the “Mozart Effect”, one cannot deny the pages of research that links a music education to lower drop-out rates, higher standardized test scores, and better grades in other classes like English and mathematics. Furthermore, participation in a band or orchestra fulfills an essential social need providing students a positive peer group and an opportunity to feel like they belong to a group that is creating something good. All of these positive attributes are extremely important and alone can justify the existence of music education. However, I believe they are but by-products and not indicative of its true significance. In our modern society where we tend to look to technology for our answers, there are times when we lose track of our humanity. Study in the arts is the study of what it is to be human. Continuing evidence is being discovered by anthropologists that music predates not only the written word but perhaps even the spoken word as well. So, as my friends at MGM say "Ars Gratia Artis".

On a personal note, I have been told by college entrance personnel, heads of medical schools, and employers that the characteristics of the type of people they are looking for can be found in students who were involved in their schools’ music programs. I have also known first-hand students who would have had a difficult time in school and have admitted to me that the strong social bonds they made with their friends in music had a profound positive effect on their lives.

Executives of Top Fortune 1000 Companies Were Involved in Music in School

Harris Interactive has released the results of a new poll analyzing the eff ects of music education on top Fortune 1000 company executives. Overall, just under three-quarters of executives (73%) were involved in some type of music program while in school. Just over three quarters (77%) recommend their children get involved in music education at their schools and just under half (47%) support music education by donating money. Cumulatively, the longer that executives participated in classroom music programs, the more successful they became in life.

For more information, see MusicForAll.org

New Research Provides the First Solid Evidence that the Study of Music Promotes Intellectual Development

The idea that studying music improves the intellect is not a new one, but at last there is incontrovertible evidence from a study conducted out of the University of Toronto.

The study, led by Dr. E. Glenn Schellenberg, examined the effect of extra-curricular activities on the intellectual and social development of six-year-old children. A group of 144 children were recruited through an ad in a local newspaper and assigned randomly to one of four activities: keyboard lessons, voice lessons, drama lessons, or no lessons. Two types of music lessons were offered in order to be able to generalize the results, while the groups receiving drama lessons or no lessons were considered control groups in order to test the effect of music lessons over other art lessons requiring similar skill sets and nothing at all. The activities were provided for one year.

The participating children were given IQ tests before and after the lessons. The results of this study revealed that increases in IQ from pre- to post-test were larger in the music groups than in the two others. Generally these increases occurred across IQ subtests, index scores, and academic achievement. Children in the drama group also exhibited improvements pre- to post-test, but in the area of adaptive social behavior, an area that did not change among children who received music lessons.

This study is published in the August, 2004 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society. E. Glenn Schellenberg is currently with the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. He can be reached via e-mail at g.schellenberg@utoronto.ca.

Psychological Science is ranked among the top 10 general psychology journals for impact by the Institute for Scientific Information. The American Psychological Society represents psychologists advocating science-based research in the public's interest.

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Statements from University Admissions

Harvard University:
"The arts are clearly an integral part of life at Harvard and Radcliffe, important for their value to the college environment and also for the potential they provide for lifelong enrichment. In addition to academic criteria, therefore, we always consider extracurricular talents and personal strengths when we evaluate a candidate's credentials. We look for students whose previous participation in the arts shows that they can make a substantial contribution to our community." -- William R. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions
Yale University:

"Qualifications for admission to Yale College include not only the reasonably well-defined areas of academic achievement and special skill in non-academic areas, but also the less tangible qualities of capacity for involvement, commitment, and personal growth. The arts offer remarkable opportunities for the exercise of these qualities. The highly skilled artist, the student whose intellectual interests include close study of the arts, and the many applicants who demonstrate motivation and the willingness to extend their reach through participation in the arts, all promise to enhance the quality of life at Yale." -- David Worth, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University:

"At Virginia Tech, the arts are quite important in our admissions policies, and we pay particular attention to prospective students who have arts training or experiences as a part of their secondary school curricular or extra-curricular records. In point of fact, our Undergraduate Catalog specifically notes college preparatory courses in the "fine arts" as appropriate electives for inclusion in required secondary school course work. As well, the University has special admissions procedures for students with "exceptional abilities in certain fields of study such as the creative and performing arts." From just these two perspectives, I believe that you can appreciate the importance of the arts to our admissions policies here at Virginia Tech." -- David R. Bousquet, Dean Of Admissions

University of Michigan:

"Intellectual leaders from Plato to the present have recognized the importance of the arts to a thriving civilization. The University of Michigan joins in recommending the arts because of their humanizing 'influences, their demands for self-discipline, their abilities to evoke idealistic dreams that transcend everyday issues, their effectiveness in reflecting the achievements of diverse peoples, and their capacities to stimulate that most important of all intellectual abilities: creativity. Perhaps in no past era of our increasingly global civilization have these qualities been more sorely needed that they are today. The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is a community rich in varied artistic achievements, and we are especially pleased to consider applicants whose backgrounds synchronize with artistic values." -- Richard H. Shaw, Jr., Director of Admissions

University of Oklahoma

"Of paramount importance to the University of Oklahoma is its educational mission to cultivate men and women who will become productive members of society. The University recognizes the role the fine arts assume in balancing a rigorous academic discipline with artistic beauty for the creation of an enhanced quality of life for society. In fulfillment of this mission the University, in linkage with common education, encourages participation in the fine arts as part of the quest for human proportion." -- Richard E. Hall, Director of Human Services and College Relations

John Hopkins University

"The real challenge in selective college admission is not to assemble a class capable of negotiating a rigorous academic curriculum, but one that will also enhance the quality of life on our campus. Participation in the performing arts during the pre-college years is a clear indication to our admission committee that a student is dedicated to, excited about and engaged in the educational journey. As such, a background in the arts is one factor that helps us choose, among academically qualified students, a class which will avail itself of the many opportunities at Hopkins and will contribute to the life of the University."

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The following is from MENC—The National Association for Music Education "Music Education Facts and Figures" 2002". For further questions, contact info@menc.org.

“Every student in the nation should have an education in the arts.” This is the opening statement of “The Value and Quality of Arts Education: A Statement of Principles,” a document from the nation’s ten most important educational organizations, including the American Association of School Administrators, the National Education Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, and the National School Boards Association.

The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:

Benefit One: Success in Society

      Perhaps the basic reason that every child must have an education in music is that music is a part of the fabric of our society. The intrinsic value of music for each individual is widely recognized in the many cultures that make up American life — indeed, every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and ideals. The importance of music to our economy is without doubt. And the value of music in shaping individual abilities and character are attested in a number of places:

  • Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). — Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998
  • “Music is a magical gift we must nourish and cultivate in our children, especially now as scientific evidence proves that an education in the arts makes better math and science students, enhances spatial intelligence in newborns, and let's not forget that the arts are a compelling solution to teen violence, certainly not the cause of it!”— Michael Greene, Recording Academy President and CEO at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, February 2000.
  • 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." In addition, one year of Visual and Performing Arts is recommended for college-bound high school students. — Getting Ready for College Early: A Handbook for Parents of Students in the Middle and Junior High School Years, U.S. Department of Education, 1997
  • The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college. — Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need to Know and Be Able to Do, 1983 [still in use], The College Board, New York
  • The arts create jobs, increase the local tax base, boost tourism, spur growth in related businesses (hotels, restaurants, printing, etc.) and improve the overall quality of life for our cities and towns. On a national level, nonprofit arts institutions and organizations generate an estimated $37 billion in economic activity and return $3.4 billion in federal income taxes to the U.S. Treasury each year. — American Arts Alliance Fact Sheet, October 1996
  • The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. — Grant Venerable, "The Paradox of the Silicon Savior," as reported in "The Case for Sequential Music Education in the Core Curriculum of the Public Schools," The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989

Benefit Two: Success in School

      Success in society, of course, is predicated on success in school. Any music teacher or parent of a music student can call to mind anecdotes about effectiveness of music study in helping children become better students. Skills learned through the discipline of music, these stories commonly point out, transfer to study skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills useful in every part of the curriculum. Another common variety of story emphasizes the way that the discipline of music study — particularly through participation in ensembles — helps students learn to work effectively in the school environment without resorting to violent or inappropriate behavior. And there are a number of hard facts that we can report about the ways that music study is correlated with success in school:

  • “The term ‘core academic subjects’ means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.” — No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9101 (11)
  • A study of 237 second grade children used piano keyboard training and newly designed math software to demonstrate improvement in math skills. The group scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children that used only the math software. — Graziano, Amy, Matthew Peterson, and Gordon Shaw, "Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training." Neurological Research 21 (March 1999).
  • In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS:88, National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.” This observation holds regardless of students’ socioeconomic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time. — Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga. “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts.” Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999.
  • 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 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. — College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.
  • According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as “disruptive” (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as “disruptive.” — Based on data from the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study), second follow-up, 1992.
  • Data from the National Education 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. — NELS:88 First Follow-up, 1990, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC
  • 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. — As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994
  • A study of 811 high school students indicated that the proportion of minority students with a music teacher role-model was significantly larger than for any other discipline. 36% of these students identified music teachers as their role models, as opposed to 28% English teachers, 11% elementary teachers, 7% physical education/sports teachers, 1% principals. — D.L. Hamann and L.M. Walker, "Music teachers as role models for African-American students," Journal of Research in Music Education, 41, 1993
  • Students who participated in arts programs in selected elementary and middle schools in New York City showed significant increases in self-esteem and thinking skills. — National Arts Education Research Center, New York University, 1990

Benefit three: Success in Developing Intelligence

      Success in school and in society depends on an array of abilities. Without joining the intense ongoing debate about the nature of intelligence as a basic ability, we can demonstrate that some measures of a child’s intelligence are indeed increased with music instruction. Once again, this burgeoning range of data supports a long-established base of anecdotal knowledge to the effect that music education makes kids smarter. What is new and especially compelling, however, is a combination of tightly-controlled behavioral studies and groundbreaking neurological research that show how music study can actively contribute to brain development:

  • In a study conducted by Dr. Timo Krings, pianists and non-musicians of the same age and sex were required to perform complex sequences of finger movements. Their brains were scanned using a technique called “functional magnetic resource imaging” (fMRI) which detects the activity levels of brain cells. The non-musicians were able to make the movements as correctly as the pianists, but less activity was detected in the pianists’ brains. Thus, compared to non-musicians, the brains of pianists are more efficient at making skilled movements. These findings show that musical training can enhance brain function. — Weinberger, Norm. “The Impact of Arts on Learning.” MuSICa Research Notes 7, no. 2 (Spring 2000). Reporting on Krings, Timo et al. “Cortical Activation Patterns during Complex Motor Tasks in Piano Players and Control Subjects. A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.” Neuroscience Letters 278, no. 3 (2000): 189-93.
  • “The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling--training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attentional skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression.” — Ratey John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.
  • A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science. — Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, "Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial-temporal reasoning," Neurological Research, Vol. 19, February 1997
  • Students in two Rhode Island elementary schools who were given an enriched, sequential, skill-building music program showed marked improvement in reading and math skills. Students in the enriched program who had started out behind the control group caught up to statistical equality in reading, and pulled ahead in math. — Gardiner, Fox, Jeffrey and Knowles, as reported in Nature, May 23, 1996
  • Researchers at the University of Montreal used various brain imaging techniques to investigate brain activity during musical tasks and found that sight-reading musical scores and playing music both activate regions in all four of the cortex's lobes; and that parts of the cerebellum are also activated during those tasks. — Sergent, J., Zuck, E., Tenial, S., and MacDonall, B. (1992). Distributed neural network underlying musical sight reading and keyboard performance. Science, 257, 106-109.
  • Researchers in Leipzig found that brain scans of musicians showed larger planum temporale (a brain region related to some reading skills) than those of non-musicians. They also found that the musicians had a thicker corpus callosum (the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two halves of the brain) than those of non-musicians, especially for those who had begun their training before the age of seven. — Schlaug, G., Jancke, L., Huang, Y., and Steinmetz, H. (1994). In vivo morphometry of interhem ispheric assymetry and connectivity in musicians. In I. Deliege (Ed.), Proceedings of the 3d international conference for music perception and cognition (pp. 417-418). Liege, Belgium.
  • A University of California (Irvine) study showed that after eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers showed a 46% boost in their spatial reasoning IQ. — Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, "Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship," University of California, Irvine, 1994
  • Researchers found that children given piano lessons significantly improved in their spatial- temporal IQ scores (important for some types of mathematical reasoning) compared to children who received computer lessons, casual singing, or no lessons. — Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Levine, L.J., Wright, E.L., Dennis, W.R., and Newcomb, R. (1997) Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children's spatial temporal reasoning. Neurological Research, 19, 1-8.
  • A McGill 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 given piano instruction. — Costa-Giomi, E. (1998, April). The McGill Piano Project: Effects of three years of piano instruction on children's cognitive abilities, academic achievement, and self-esteem. Paper presented at the meeting of the Music Educators National Conference, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Researchers found that lessons on songbells (a standard classroom instrument) led to significant improvement of spatial-temporal scores for three- and four-year-olds. — Gromko, J.E., and Poorman, A.S. (1998) The effect of music training on preschooler's spatial-temporal task performance. Journal of Research in Music Education, 46, 173-181.
  • In the Kindergarten classes of the school district of Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin, children who were given music instruction scored 48 percent higher on spatial-temporal skill tests than those who did not receive music training. — Rauscher, F.H., and Zupan, M.A. (1999). Classroom keyboard instruction improves kindergarten children's spatial-temporal performance: A field study. Manuscript in press, Early Childhood Research Quarterly.
  • An Auburn University study found significant increases in overall self-concept of at-risk children participating in an arts program that included music, movement, dramatics and art, as measured by the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale. — N.H. Barry, Project ARISE: Meeting the needs of disadvantaged students through the arts, Auburn University, 1992

Benefit four: Success in Life

      Each of us wants our children — and the children of all those around us — to achieve success in school, success in employment, and success in the social structures through which we move. But we also want our children to experience “success” on a broader scale. Participation in music, often as not based on a grounding in music education during the formative school years, brings countless benefits to each individual throughout life. The benefits may be psychological or spiritual, and they may be physical as well:

  • “Studying music encourages self-discipline and diligence, traits that carry over into intellectual pursuits and that lead to effective study and work habits. An association of music and math has, in fact, long been noted. Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients. For all these reasons, it deserves strong support in our educational system, along with the other arts, the sciences, and athletics.” — Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Leading Heart Surgeon, Baylor College of Music.
  • “Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it’s important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity.” — Ted Turner, Turner Broadcasting System.
  • “Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others. Through music, we can introduce children to the richness and diversity of the human family and to the myriad rhythms of life.” — Daniel A. Carp, Eastman Kodak Company Chairman and CEO.
  • “Casals says music fills him with the wonder of life and the ‘incredible marvel’ of being a human. Ives says it expands his mind and challenges him to be a true individual. Bernstein says it is enriching and ennobling. To me, that sounds like a good cause for making music and the arts an integral part of every child’s education. Studying music and the arts elevates children’s education, expands students’ horizons, and teaches them to appreciate the wonder of life.” — U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, July 1999.
  • “The nation’s top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century.”— “The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education.” Business Week, October 1996.
  • “Music making makes the elderly healthier... There were significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and loneliness following keyboard lessons. These are factors that are critical in coping with stress, stimulating the immune system, and in improved health. Results also show significant increases in human growth hormones following the same group keyboard lessons. (Human growth hormone is implicated in aches and pains.)” — Dr. Frederick Tims, reported in AMC Music News, June 2, 1999
  • “Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them — a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” — Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America
  • “During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought to me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North — and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children.” — H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General, U.S. Army, retired
  • “Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.” — Bill Clinton, former President, United States of America

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How does music help me in everyday life...? by Jasmine S.

Playing a musical instrument helped me a lot in elementary school, middle school and I'm sure it's going to in high school. Playing the violin gives me a certain type of comfort and relaxation that helps me throughout my day. When I get frustrated or I have a problem, playing my violin makes me feel enhanced and good about myself. In educational ways, playing a musical instrument is a very good talent to have and will qualify you for a better school or college. Everyday I look forward to getting to my music period so I can be with my friends and peers and play in an orchestra we all love. There are challenges we all face in playing a harder piece of music or trying a new instrument, but these challenges we face are the ones that make us stronger and help us become a good violinist or musician. Playing a music instrument can get you far in life. For example you can go to honor orchestra, play in bands, and go to different places in the world to perform. You can work with the best composers and conductors of all times and learn their techniques and talents. It has also brought my family closer together in many ways! Just playing a tune or riddle at dinner or at midnight fires can be relaxing and heart warming for all the members of the family. Also as my mother says, "being able to read musical notes is like being able to read a whole different language, not everyone knows it or can understand it." So I'm very grateful for that and hope that playing the violin helps me throughout all obstacles of my life. One mistake I know I'll never make is...TO GIVE UP ON MUSIC!!!

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Stanford Study Finds Playing Music Can Be Good For Your Brain

Stanford University research has found for the first time that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word, a finding that researchers say could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems. The study, made public Wednesday, is the first to show that musical experience can help the brain improve its ability to distinguish between rapidly changing sounds that are key to understanding and using language. The research also eventually could provide the "why" behind other studies that have found that playing a musical instrument has cognitive benefits. For the full article, visit San Francisco Chronicle

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Top 10 quotes from the AMC Essential Advocacy Resources for Music article

  1. A 2000 Georgia Tech study indicates that a student who participates in at least one college elective music course is 4.5 times more likely to stay in college than the general student population.
    – Dr. Denise C. Gardner, Effects of Music Courses on Retention, Georgia Tech, 2000
  2. The part of the brain responsible for planning, foresight, and coordination is substantially larger for instrumental musicians than for the general public.
    – “Music On the Mind,” Newsweek, July 24, 2000
  3. A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reports that music training - specifically piano instruction - is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math and science.
    – Dr. Frances Rauscher and Dr. Gordon Shaw, Neurological Research, University of California at Irvine, February, 1997
  4. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that sixty- six percent (66%) of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. Forty-four percent (44%) of biochemistry majors were admitted.
    – “The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan, 1994
  5. College students majoring in music achieve scores higher than students of all other majors on college reading exams.
    – Carl Hartman, “Arts May Improve Students’ Grades,” The Associated Press, October, 1999
  6. Music students demonstrate less test anxiety and performance anxiety than students who do not study music.
    – “College-Age Musicians Emotionally Healthier than Non-Musician Counterparts,” Houston Chronicle, 1998
  7. On the 1999 SAT, music students continued to outperform their non-arts peers, scoring 61 points higher on the verbal portion and 42 points higher on the math portion of the exam.
    – Steven M. Demorest and Steven J. Morrison, “Does Music Make You Smarter?,” Music Educators Journal, September, 2000
  8. Researchers at the University of Muenster in Germany have discovered that music lessons in childhood actually enlarge parts of the brain. An area used to analyze the pitch of a musical note is enlarged 25% in musicians compared to people who have never played an instrument. The earlier the musicians were when they started musical training, the bigger this area of the brain appears to be.
    – Pantev et al., Nature, April 23, 1998
  9. Research shows when a child listens to classical music the right hemisphere of the brain is activated, but when a child studies a musical instrument both left and right hemispheres of the brain “light up.” Significantly, the areas that become activated are the same areas that are involved in analytical and mathematical thinking.
    – Dee Dickinson, “Music and the Mind,” New Horizons for Learning, 1993
  10. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania School District analyzed its 1997 dropout rate in terms of students’ musical experience. Students with no ensemble performance experience had a dropout rate of 7.4 percent. Students with one to two years of ensemble experience had a dropout rate of 1 percent, and those with three or more years of performance experience had a dropout rate of 0.0 percent.
    – Eleanor Chute, “Music and Art Lessons Do More Than Complement Three R’s,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 13, 1998


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