Music Teacher Expertise is a Critical Factor in Student Learning.
Research indicates that teachers of all subjects -- including music -- who are more experienced and educated are more effective in the classroom. Consequently, students learn more from them.
(Source: Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters, by Ronald Ferguson, 1991)
Music Students Are Scoring.
Music students are outperforming non-music students on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). College-bound seniors with coursework or experience in music performance scored 52 points higher on the verbal portion and 37 points higher on the math portion of the SAT than students with no coursework or experience in the arts.
(Source: The College Board, September 1997)
Music Is Beating Computers
at Enhancing Early Childhood Development. 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. Learning music at an early age causes long-term enhancement of spatial- temporal reasoning.
(Source: Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1997)
Music Enhances Linguistic Skills.
Music -- specifically song -- is one of the best training grounds for babies learning to recognize the tones that add up to spoken language.
(Source: Sandra Trehub, University of Toronto, 1997)
America Is A Country Full Of Music-Makers.
113 million, or 53%, of Americans over the age of 12 are current or former music makers.
(Source: 1997 "American Attitudes Towards Music" poll conducted by the Gallup Organization)
Americans Say Schools Should Offer Instrumental Music Instruction
as part of the regular curriculum. 88% of respondents indicated this in a 1997 "American Attitudes Towards Music" Gallup poll.
(Source: Music Trades, September 1997)
Scientists, Therapists Agree: Music Heals More Than Just The Spirit.
Music benefits older adults. Active music-making positively affects the biology and behavior of Alzheimer's patients.
(Source: Music Making and Wellness Project, a study conducted at the University of Miami)
The Window Of Opportunity For Studying Music
is between the ages of three and ten. This is the time when we are the most receptive to and able to process music.
(Source: Newsweek, February 19, 1996)
Studying Music Strengthens Students' Academic Performance.
Rhode Island studies have indicated that sequential, skill-building instruction in art and music integrated with the rest of the curriculum can greatly improve children's performance in reading and math.
(Source: "Learning Improved by Arts Training" by Martin Gardiner, Alan Fox, Faith Knowles, and Donna Jeffrey, Nature, May 23, 1996)
Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship.
Music lessons, and even simply listening to music, can enhance spatial reasoning performance, a critical higher-brain function necessary to perform complex tasks including mathematics.
(Source: Frances Fauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1994)
Music Is One of Our Greatest Economic Exports.
"The arts are an economic plus -- second only to aerospace as our most lucrative national export."
(Source: Michael Greene of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences)
Classical Music's Traditional Audience Is Graying.
By the year 2030, approximately half of our nation's population will be over 65 years of age. Music educators have the power to make Classical music matter again to young people.
(Source: Chamber Music, February 1998; a publication of Chamber Music America)
The Mozart Effect Doesn't Increase General Intelligence!
Best Way to Achieve Long-Term Benefits is by Music Study and Music-Making.
The “Mozart Effect”, reported as an increase of intelligence after briefly listening to Mozart, is by far the most well-known and sensational finding in music research in the public mind. At the same time, it is the most misunderstood. Trumpeted in the mass media as a way to increase general intelligence, it does no such thing.
Francis Rauscher and Gordon Shaw first reported in 1993 that 10 minutes of listening to a Mozart sonata for two pianos increased the ability of college students to solve spatial-temporal problems. For example, subjects had to imagine that a single sheet of paper had been folded several times in certain ways and then various cuts made with a scissors. They had to then predict what the pattern of cut-outs would look like when the paper was unfolded. This test requires mentally keeping track of the sequence of events in space. Rauscher and Shaw specifically pointed out that the effect lasted only 10-15 minutes and worked only for spatial-temporal problems, not for other aspects of intelligence.
The public's belief of long term effects in general intelligence was fed by simplistic reports in the media combined with its tendency to believe in “cognitive bargains”, i.e., getting a big boost in mental processes without expending much effort. The Mozart Effect is more important for researchers than for any practical applications. Long term benefits from music are best achieved by intensive study and music-making.
Music Linked to Reduced Criminality
Martin Gardiner of Brown University recently reported, at a national arts education meeting in Oklahoma City , the results of analyzing a large scale data base. The data base included information gathered over a period of many years for more than a thousand residents of Rhode Island . Tracking people from birth through the age of thirty, Gardiner checked the relationship between arrest records of teen-agers and their degree of involvement in music.
Gardiner found that the greater the involvement in music, the lower the arrest record. Teens who had music education were less likely to get into trouble than students who didn't. However, those who also were involved in playing a musical instrument had even fewer brushes with the law. Those who had the most experience, including good sight-reading ability, had a negligible arrest record. This research, still in progress, was funded by the International Foundation for Music Research (IFMR).
Musical Brain - Special Brain Area DIscovered for Reading Music Scores
Music is wrongly considered to be mere entertainment and often regarded as an educational frill. However, research has shown that humans are born with musical capabilities, so music is part of human nature. This is particularly evident in research that has shown how the human brain processes music. Recently, neuroscientists have discovered an area in the brain that is devoted to reading music scores.
T. Nakada and his co-workers at the University of California and the Niigata Brain Research Institute in Japan applied brain-imaging techniques to people who could read a musical score. They compared brain activity during score reading and also during reading language. Reporting in the journal NeuroReport (1998), Nakada and colleagues found regions of the brain that were involved in both types of reading. However, most importantly, they also discovered a brain area that was activated only during reading musical scores. This is near the visual part of the brain in the right hemisphere. The findings reveal that the human brain is specialized for music and therefore the human brain is a “musical brain”.