"Since singing is so good a thing, I wish all men would learn to sing." William Byrd, Psalmes, Sonets & Songs (1588)
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Benefits of Learning Music

As a long time music educator, I see the enormous benefits music brings to students of all ages.  I would like to share some of my research findings:

“The College Entrance Examinations Board found that music students scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no arts participation.”  College-bound Seniors National Report: Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001

“A four region public school music education study revealed that students in high-quality school music education programmes scored higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programmes, scoring 22 % higher in English and 20% better in mathematics.”  Journal of Research in Music Education, Spring, 2007

“Music facilitates memory and music recall skills of preschoolers.”  Wolfe, D. & Horne, C., Use of melodies as structural prompts for learning of sequential verbal information by preschool students. Journal of Music Therapy, 25 (2), 265-285, 1993

“Organised music lessons appear to benefit children’s IQ and academic performance – and the longer the instruction continues, the larger the effect … The study involving younger children found that each additional month of music lessons was accompanied by an increase in IQ of one-sixth of a point, such that six years of lessons was associated with an increase in IQ of 7.5 points, compared with children who did not have the same amount of musical instruction.”  Schellenberg, E.G., Music lessons may boost IQ and grades, Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 37, No. 6, June 2006

“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, A., Peterson, M., & Shaw, G., “Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training.” Neurological Research 21 (March 1999)

“Music enhances the process of learning.  The systems it nourishes, which include our integrated sensory, attention, cognitive, emotional and motor capacities, are shown to be the driving forces behind all other learning.”  Konrad, R.R., Empathy, Arts and Social Studies, 2000

From Professor Susan Hallam, at the Institute of Education at the University of London:

“Speech and music have a number of shared processing systems.  Musical experiences which enhance processing can therefore impact on the perception of language which in turn impacts on learning to read.  … Learning an instrument has an impact on intellectual development, particularly spatial reasoning.  A review of 15 studies found a ‘strong and reliable’ relationship … about 84 points on standardized school tests. …  The human brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons, a considerable proportion of which are active simultaneously.  Information processing is undertaken largely through interactions between them, each having approximately a thousand connections with other neurons.  … When an event is important enough or repeated sufficiently often synapses and neurons fire repeatedly indicating that this event is worth remembering (Fields, 2005).  … Extensive active engagement with music induces cortical reorganization producing functional changes in how the brain processes information.  If this occurs early in development the alterations may become hard-wired and produce permanent changes in the way information is processed   (e.g. Schlaug et al., 1995).  … Rhythmic performance seems to be an important factor in reading development.  Long (2007) found that very brief training (10 minutes each week for 6 weeks) in stamping, clapping and chanting in time to a piece of music while following simple musical notation had a considerable impact on reading comprehension in children experiencing difficulties in reading.  There are also indications from a range of sources that rhythmic training may help children experiencing dyslexia (Thomson, 1993; Overy, 2000, 2003).  … Further analysis identified 6 dimensions associated with the benefits of singing – well-being and relaxation, benefits for breathing and posture, social benefits, spiritual benefits, emotional benefits, and benefits for heart and immune system (Clift & Hancox, 2001). … Four studies reported an increase in the immune system marker salivary immunoglobulin associated with singing.” Hallam, S., The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people, International Journal of Music Education, Vol. 28, No. 3, 269-289, August 2010

Here is a link to a list of even more positive benefits for singing:


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