Music Education Impact on Youth

The impact of music education on kids has been one of the most extensively researched campaigns in recent years. It is undeniable that there are positive outcomes to be found when a child is allowed to use his or her creativity in the form of music. The positive effects of music on a child are immeasurable:

  • Increases Likelihood of Graduation
  • Keeps Students Engaged & Off The Streets
  • Heightened Academic Performance
  • Increases Self-Esteem
  • Develops Team Building & Social Skills
  • Builds Capacity for Imagination
  • Provides a Cultural Perspective



"Engaging Students, Supporting Schools, Accessing Arts Education" is a study that assess arts education in Arizona. The study was conducted in 2008, and plenty more cuts have occurred since then. To explore the WHOLE STUDY click HERECheck out some of the highlights below: 

  • 50% of schools have "NO BUDGET" for curricular support in arts education. 
  • 79% of schools spend less than $1 per student in a year, or LESS THAN 1/2 a PENNY A DAY! 
  • 34% of rural schools DO NOT have a highly qualified arts teacher as compared to 15% for suburban schools. 
  • 134,203 students attended school WITHOUT access to music or visual arts instruction provided by highly qualified arts teachers. 

Other Arizona Facts

  • Arizona is 45th in he nation for College Graduation Rates (Phoenix Business Journal - 1/7/11)
  • 4 out of 5 Arizona High School Graduates do not have college degrees (Phoenix Business Journal - 1/7/11)



The information below was retrieved from

96% of public school principals believe that participating in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school longer (Harris Poll)

89% of principals believe that music education contributes to higher graduation rates (Harris Poll)

94% of Americans consider music to be part of a well-rounded education (2006 Gallup Poll)

With music in schools, students connect with each other better-greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm. (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001)

The College Entrance Examination Board found that students in music appreciation scored 73 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no arts participation (College-Bound Seniors National Report)

A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident
and better able to express their ideas (The Arts Education Partnership, 1999)

Students indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school. and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks (The Arts Education Partnership, 2002)

Young children who received a year of musical training showed brain changes and superior memory compared with children who did not receive the instruction. (Journal of Neurology, Oxford University Press, 2006)

Teens who participate in music education programs see music as their "social glue" as a bridge for building acceptance and tolerance for people of different ages and cultural circumstances, and associate playing music with music literacy, self-discipline, listening skills, motor ability, eye-hand coordination and heightened intellectual capabilities (Journal for Research in Music Education, University of Washington, 2007)

A study of rural and urban inner-city schools found that arts programs helped schools in economically disadvantaged communities develop students' critical-thinking and problem-solving skills (The Arts Education Partnerships, 2005)


Study Links Music Making and Music Education with Improved Academic Performance
This research reveals a relationship between quality music instruction and heightened academic performance: music supports academic performance and quality music programs are related to higher test scores.

Center for Arts Education - October 2009
Arts Education and New York City High School Graduation Rate
"...high schools that are struggling most to keep their students on track to graduate are offering the least in the way of music, theater, dance, and visual arts—all subject areas that have well-documented success in motivating students to stay in school. The struggling schools have fewer arts teachers, fewer arts classrooms, and fewer cultural partnerships, among a host of other disparities. The analysis further shows that schools offering students the most access to arts education have the highest graduation rates."

Teenagers’ Strong Commitment to Music and Music Making - Fall 2007
Explored the the meaning and importance of music participation in the lives of middle and high school adolescents.  The following findings were common themes in responses:
• Music-specific benefits, encompassing musical knowledge/skill
• Emotional benefits that span enjoyment, expression, emotional release and control, and coping
• Music’s benefits to life-at-large, including the building of one’s character and life skills
• Social benefits encompassing camaraderie, the acceptance of differences, and high morale at school and home
• Distraction from vices such as drugs, alcohol, smoking, gangs, sex and suicidal behaviors and
• Music in schools, including positive and negative impressions of the program, particular courses and course content, and teachers


Harris Poll - Link Between Music Education & More Education - October 2007

Respondents with more education indicated that music education and experience had an impact in five skill areas: ability to work toward common goals, striving for excellence in group settings, disciplined approach to solving problems, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations.


Below are several of the findings that emerged from the data:

• 88% of those with a postgraduate education, 86% with a college education and 81% with some college education participated in music compared to 65% of those with a high school education or less.

• 83% of those with an income level of $150,000 and above were in a music program, as were 78% of those with household incomes of between $75,000 and $149,999.

• 66% of adults and 72% of those who were involved in music say it equips people to be better team players in their careers.

• 61% of adults and 66% of those involved in music say music education provides people with a disciplined approach to solving problems.

• 59% of adults and 64% of those who had music education say that it prepares someone to manage the tasks of their job more successfully.

• Seven in ten U.S. adults say that music education had an influence on their current level of personal fulfillment, with more than one-third saying that their music education has been extremely or very influential.


The “Imagine Nation” in America: Identifying an Emerging Voting Constituency - December 2007

For policy makers, the “imagine nation” constituency supports three specific points of action in order to prompt innovation with an education that develops the cognitive capacities of the imagination:

1. Build capacities of the imagination by supporting time and resources for an education in and through the arts.

2. Support integrated and interdisciplinary processes and approaches, which also save money and time in the school day.

3. Teach beyond assessment. Move beyond average performance and scoring that focuses on the minimum, which ultimately stifles students and educators alike.



The information below was retrieved from The American Music Conference (

Did You Know? The world's top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States' focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology. Source: 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test

Did You Know?
Music training helps under-achievers. In Rhode Island, researchers studied eight public school first grade classes. Half of the classes became "test arts" groups, receiving ongoing music and visual arts training. In kindergarten, this group had lagged behind in scholastic performance. After seven months, the students were given a standardized test. The "test arts" group had caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22 percent. In the second year of the project, the arts students widened this margin even further. Students were also evaluated on attitude and behavior. Classroom teachers noted improvement in these areas also. Source: Nature May 23, 1996

Did You Know?
Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests.

Did You Know? Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school.  

Did You Know?
A McGill University study found that self-esteem and musical skills measures improved for the students given piano instruction.

Did You Know? Data from the National Educational 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. 

Did You Know? College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts.

Did You Know? A ten-year study, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement.  

Protecting your Ears!

Please explore some great information from our partners at Tri-City Audiology about protecting your ears!