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Do Kids Who Study Music Really do Better in School and in Life?

Music study yields amazing results. It empowers the brain by providing it with a self-contained, varied intellectual diet.

The answer seems to be a resounding yes! And this is based on the findings of the numerous studies done on the DYNAMICS of music lessons and brain development.

In one neurological research done on February 28, 1997 , the University of California – Irvine made this remarkable discovery:

After only 6 months of piano lessons, preschoolers performed 34% higher on spatial – temporal testing than their peers who received no lesson and even those who received computer training.

2 years later, another research team of this university made another stunning finding!

Some 2nd and 3rd graders who learnt how to count in music using eighth, quarter, half and whole notes scored 100% higher, on their math test than their peers who were taught fractions using the traditional method.

As if these were not enough, the music students did it again. In 2001, The College Board did The Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, and found that College-bound seniors with school music experience scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of their SATs and 41 points higher in math (98 points combined) than those without any arts instruction.

So what is it about music that accounts for such remarkable success?

One of the possible answers to this is that music study acts as a vital exercise for the neurological connections of the brain!

This deduction comes from what science has taught us about the brain.

It is comprised of 200 billions neurons.

These neurons are changing continually. They must be used by forming pathways or inter- connections with other neurons. Otherwise, they will trim themselves off, shrink away, and die.

This is where the study of music comes in like a “Knight in shining armor”.

It provides a good mental exercise. This enables the brain to form those vital neurological pathways that save the neurons from being trimmed off because of the lack of use.

But, the best of these is that music training offers a lot, through its self-contained, varied intellectual diet.

(1)   It exposes the student to history and geography.  Music students are required to look at the life and culture of the different composers, whose music they are learning

(2)   It directs the student to science (physics).  They get to explore the concept of sound and pitch through the tessitura of their instrument.

(3)   It teaches math.  To play a rhythmic line correctly, the student must calculate the mathematical value of the notes accurately.

(4)   It teaches reading and writing.  The student must learn to read the music symbols in order to unveil the beautiful piece of music a composer has left behind.  The student gets to practice writing during their study of music theory.

The brain that is exposed to music is therefore empowered for a better intellectual success than one that is given a poorly prepared diet.

So then, a varied intellectual diet that has music training on its menu

Should be the “rule of thumb” for all parents: because the facts clearly shows:

(1) It sets the tone for doing better in Life.

(2) It helps children develop a discipline that is geared toward success.

The academy winning award nature of this discipline is:

(1) To study music, one must have weekly lessons lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the student’s level and attention span.

(2) The lessons are held at regular time, and the student must get there in that specific time.

(3) The student is taught how to develop a daily practice routine.

In this daily practice routine, they must remember what to practice, and how to practice for success.

(4) When they internalize this practice routine skill, they tend to transfer it to other areas of their lives, and THE RETURNS are tremendous, truly satisfying, very fulfilling and amazing.

To name just a few of these rewards:

(1) It is highly likely that the disciplined student will complete his/her homework assignments and study for their tests.

  1. Completed homework assignments leads to better grades in school
  2. Better chance of graduating on schedule
  3. Better chance of being accepted into a good university
  4. Better chance of achieving a rewarding career

(2) The student’s performance in recitals, concerts, festivals, competitions helps him/her to develop confidence and a good self-esteem.

That is a good recipe for success in life.

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User Comments
  1. Denzil

    On December 17, 2008 at 12:54 pm


    This is an excellent article, well written, and it has reinforced what I’ve always believed about the discipline of music study.

  2. ABITHA

    On December 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm


    I thought it was very nice read and it engaged me. I liked reading about the different ways music can help you succeed in school as well as in life. The article brought out a lot about the how the brain works which was pretty interesting. I took piano lessons myself for 2 years and I could really see the benefits such as discipline that I learned. The article was excellent!

  3. NIGEL

    On December 23, 2008 at 10:07 pm


    This is very nice. I believe that the public school’s curriculum developers should all read this.

  4. Student

    On December 24, 2008 at 10:56 am


    This article tells exactly what music does for you. I’ve taken piano for 5 years and all through those 5 years I’ve used the discipline I learn from piano and applied it to my schoolwork. Not only are my grades better than ever,but I have gained confidence and I found something I really like to do and will continue for the rest of my life.

  5. ana

    On December 24, 2008 at 11:18 am


    this is a great article!
    most of what is mentioned is true because many of the students in the music department at my school are actually honor students taking AP classes. Even those that are not, they are excellent students.
    I also have piano lessons and I am an honor student, but this can be applied to other instruments as well.

  6. LEILA

    On December 24, 2008 at 12:05 pm


    THIS IS VERY CONVINCING. I”LL DEFINITELY GIVE MY KIDS THIS MUSICAL ADVANTAGE. THANKS 4 SHARING THIS INFORMATION WITH ME.

  7. AJ

    On December 24, 2008 at 7:10 pm


    this is a very true article.
    i have noticed myself that kids that take music lessons do better at school and have their priorities set straight when they’re older. You can also get scholarships through music which is very helpful to many college students.

  8. Cliff Roberts

    On December 28, 2008 at 5:06 am


    Learning extra caricula activity will allways help kids,and music have the added advantage in that it cuts across so many other subjects such as languages, mathematics, geography, history, sociology just to name a few.

  9. monica55

    On January 1, 2009 at 11:12 pm


    I want to thank everyone for their input on this subject especially the music students whose testimonies drive home the point.

  10. Zenaida

    On January 2, 2009 at 1:24 pm


    This article really shows what happens when you do music. When you study music it helps you in your schoolwork and in all other aspects of life. Studying music has made me more disciplined and has completely broadened my mind. It’s showed me a whole different way to look at things as well.

  11. abigail

    On January 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm


    this article is true in many ways. I myself study music and get pretty good grades

  12. Steve West

    On January 3, 2009 at 1:18 am


    This article rings true in so many ways. My daughter, 10, is taking piano lessons as well as learning to play the clarinet in school. She is very bright. She is also an excellent math student. She is extremely creative and inventive. Music enhances her life and broadens her abilities.

  13. patrice

    On January 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm


    I’m also going 2 put my kids in your music classes. Thanks for this big eye-opener.

  14. Christine Ramsay

    On January 4, 2009 at 7:59 am


    You have confirmed something I have often wondered about as a retired teacher. I taught maths and found that the more able children played a musical instrument. I also found that if I played some quiet music during creative writing sessions, the children concentrated better and produced much better writing.
    An excellent article

    Christine

  15. Kobina

    On January 6, 2009 at 6:10 pm


    This article is excellent as far as inspiring kids to take music. I have been learning how to play the piano for about 5 years now and everything discussed in this article has been evident in my performance in school. Without the guidance of music in my life, i might not be the student I am now.

  16. Mansilla

    On January 7, 2009 at 8:56 am


    It’s an excellent article! It’s definitely proven that music lessons have been shown to improve a students academic perforamce in school. Children who participate in music show improved spatial-temporal skills, social skills, memorization, creativity and they build a level of self-confidence. College Entrance Examinations Board report students that have had an opportunity to study music have a greater chance to go on to college and score higher on the SAT/ACT, especially in the section of reading, writing, and math. Some children who do not show academic excellence have the abililty to shine in the arts(music). That’s a reason why schools should invest more in their music/visual arts programs. High school drop-outs sometimes have the opportunity to become successful through rap,rock,and experimental. In today’s society music students are much more better musicians because of technology. When I teach my students piano I feel, taste, smell and hear something other than what is written on a music sheet.

  17. Yovita Siswati

    On January 8, 2009 at 12:13 am


    Wow…interesting facts! My whole family (except myself..poor me) can play musical instrument including piano. I wish my daughter will like to learn piano too.

  18. Marleine

    On January 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm


    Excellent article ! I know that for a fact how the discipline of music study had helped me during the years I have been learning to play the piano and to the point that I made music my favorite pastime for life.

  19. Eric.

    On January 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm


    Excellent article showing the benefits of music training. Keep it up Monica.
    Eric.

  20. Brother

    On January 11, 2009 at 10:38 am


    Music is truly an international language and benefits the musical student in many areas of life. It appears that the sooner the student begins the study of music the sooner the benefits are realized and carried throughout life.

  21. K Kristie

    On January 12, 2009 at 8:04 am


    Excellent, informative post. A very good read.

  22. Anita A.

    On January 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm


    I totally agree with this article. I am also a musician and have found that learning music had played a substantial part in every aspect of my education. This article was well written and hits key points supported with evidence.

  23. Thomas

    On January 15, 2009 at 9:33 am


    As a retired educator and one who is currently taking piano lessons for senior citizens,this article truly expounds the  benefits of music education. Therefore, I encourage all parents to make sure their children not only receive music appreciation, but especially instrumental music, as well. Children learn in different ways(styles of learning), and music instruction will enhance a child’s ability to grasp educational concepts,as they pertain to other areas of concentration. Music instruction is truly an effective means of helping that child build a strong and sound educational foundation. 

  24. denus

    On January 15, 2009 at 3:13 pm


    really great work.

    keep it up.

    cheers,

    denus

  25. Momo

    On January 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm


    I agree with this article because I take music and I am doing better in school and in life. So for me this article is true!

    Great job!!

  26. monica55

    On January 15, 2009 at 9:07 pm


    It is really a pleasure to get such positive feedback and wonderful testimonies from those who are currently studdying music; as well as fron those who have done so in the past.

  27. naisha

    On January 17, 2009 at 9:24 pm


    This article shows and also gives other people info on how they can start to help thei child in doing better,and also by succeding sucess

  28. ziggy ziggy

    On January 19, 2009 at 7:31 pm


    I strongly endorse the findings and the conclusion of this article as it is true with my two kids (12 & 6 yr old ). Since their erollment in piano lessons i have seen significant improvement in their reading and writing skill as well as in math. Their organizational skill has also improved and the result is outstanding quality of life revolving around self discipline and content.

  29. rehab

    On January 21, 2009 at 8:26 pm


    this is very true i study music and i get good grades while being on the track team

  30. Leslie Mason

    On January 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm


    I believe this article is true. I studied music in elementary school through high school. Children who participate in music seem to have a better focus on their studies. I hope this will be the case for my daughter Chelsea. She is 4 and currently studying piano.

  31. Isha

    On January 28, 2009 at 8:19 pm


    Very good article. Music is such a positive reinforcement in all of our lives. This article was informative and I enjoyed it very much.

  32. Patty

    On February 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm


    Excellent article.
    Pat

  33. Primrose

    On February 7, 2009 at 6:19 pm


    This is so true. The discipline that music training offers a child is more thN tremendous.
    Primrose,

  34. Gemma

    On February 8, 2009 at 2:36 pm


    I am a music student and have always done very well at school. I am a member of a brass band, and attend regular rehearsals, and have to do several hours practice everyday to be at a high enough standard.

  35. Rochelle

    On February 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm


    I think that this article is very true. I believe that music has helped me in many ways in school, and that I would not do so well in school without it. It’s interesting to hear the scientific side of why music helps children to learn, but I always thought so myself.

  36. Kyra

    On February 12, 2009 at 7:09 pm


    I think this article is true. ever since I started studying music, my grades have really improved.

  37. Jennifer

    On February 14, 2009 at 9:32 am


    I really do agree that music improves everything in your life. Ever since I started taking music lessons, everything in my life has started to work. My grades have been better, ive had more confidence and I have something I really like to do.

  38. Dewdrops

    On February 14, 2009 at 6:28 pm


    I have always wondered why the music students seemed to do so well, in their school work, now I can see why, Thanks for sharing,

  39. Anne McNew

    On February 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm


    This is an excellent article, well presented.
    I love music but seldome I play music while I am concentrating something, I didnt knew this could help…lol
    thanks for the information.
    thank you also for your personal messages sent in my inbox.

  40. Lisa Clayton Williams

    On February 24, 2009 at 9:53 am


    Great read…informative article!!

  41. AmskyDC

    On February 26, 2009 at 5:03 am


    Well said ! Very clear explanation and so informative.I myself loves to play music during my free time. Thank you for this productive article…

    I’d like to take this opportunity to say sorry for my latest article about personality test.Triond did not posted my original version. I feel ashame about that. Because it did not meet my criteria and standard.

  42. PATRICIA DAVY

    On February 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm


    This is a very good article. I notice that the kids who study music do very well in their school work and are more confident in life thanks to all music teachers.

  43. Sarah

    On February 28, 2009 at 9:49 am


    I totally agree with the article, Kids who study music do perform great in school, this is through my experience when i was in school. Thanks for sharing.

  44. Georgina Q.

    On March 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm


    I truly agree with this article. I have gotten very good grades
    ever since I learned to play the piano.

  45. Jacqui M

    On April 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm


    This article and the study it’s based on are very good, I think it’s true. My young nephew has been doing music particularly the piano since he was 6 now he is 12 and a good in all his academic lessons.

  46. clavier

    On September 11, 2009 at 7:17 pm


    I can attest as a piano teacher that this is very true. My students excel in math and other subjects. Its the transfer of discipline from music to academics that helps them a lot. Great article!

  47. CHAN LEE PENG

    On February 18, 2010 at 11:07 am


    No doubt, music does help kids to learn better. A research shows that kids who were exposed to music learn better.

  48. CHAN LEE PENG

    On June 30, 2010 at 11:49 pm


    Again, music can help develop good feeling among the kids which may help them perform better.

  49. Goodselfme

    On September 23, 2010 at 3:14 am


    Music is healthy all around for all who make it and listen to it too. Thank you for such a well rounded write.I agree.

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