12 Important Skills Your Child Learns By Studying Music

1.Self-Confidence - Being able to go from learning notes and
rhythms to producing meaningful music instills in your child a
sense of accomplishment and self-confidence, while building

2.Coordination - Hand, eye, body posture and thought all
working together are the ingredients of playing an instrument.
These coordination skills transfer to many other aspects of life.

3.Teamwork - Every child wants to be part of a group. Group
performances and recitals provide just such unique opportunities.

4.Comprehension - Learning to perceive and derive meaning
from musical sounds sharpens your child's ability to comprehend

5.Problem-Solving - Learning the basics of musical language
and interpreting a work through performance teaches your child
the ability to understand a problem and reach an appropriate

6.Discipline - Learning all of the basics of music and applying
them correctly takes perception and discipline.

7.Art Appreciation - The words beauty, serenity and excitement
come to life with each musical experience. These feelings help
every child appreciate all forms of the arts.

8.Logical Reasoning - When your child learns to analyze a
musical work from all perspectives or to improvise within a certain
musical style, both inductive and deductive reasoning grows

9.Communication - Music offers the ability to cultivate our
feelings and thoughts through nonverbal means and to respond
to these nonverbal thoughts in others.

10.Conceptualization - Your child learns to classify by learning
to identify different types and styles of music and to recognize how
cultures use music for personal expression.

11.Making Value Judgments - Learning to comprehend,
consider and evaluate in music can help your child make informed
decisions and uphold value judgments in other aspects of life.

12.Using Symbols - Learning to read, write and interpret musical
notation strengthens the use of other symbol systems such as
mathematics and language.

Regardless of socioeconomic background,
music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests.

UCLA professor, Dr. James Catterall, led an analysis of a U.S.      
Department of Education database. Called NELLs88, the database was
used to track more than 25,000 students over a period of ten years.

The study showed that students involved in music generally tested higher
than those who had no music involvement. The test scores studied were
not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also in reading
proficiency exams.

The study also noted that the musicians scored higher, no matter what
socioeconomic group was being studied.

Reference: Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997.


Research shows piano students are better equipped to                    
comprehend mathematical and scientific concepts.

Preschoolers were divided into three groups: One group received private
piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received
private computer lessons. The third group received no training. Those
children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34% higher on
tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others - even those who
received computer training.

"Spatial-temporal" is basically proportional reasoning - ratios, fractions,
proportions and thinking in space and time. This concept has long been
considered a major obstacle in the teaching of elementary math and

Reference: Neurological Research February 28, 1997


In both verbal and math scores, high school student-musicians      
outpace peers.

The College Entrance Examination Board reports, "Students of the arts
continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT(R). In 1998, SAT
takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 52 points
higher on the verbal portion of the test and 37 points higher on the math
portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts."

Longer arts study proved to parlay into even higher test scores. The
1996 report observed, "Those who studied the arts four or more years
scored 59 points higher and 41 points higher on the verbal and math
portions respectively than students with no coursework or experience in
the arts."

Reference: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music
Educators National Conference, 1998, 1996.


College-age musicians emotionally healthier than non-musician      

According to a study conducted at the University of Texas , college-aged
music students have fewer problems with alcohol, are emotionally
healthier, and concentrate better than their non-musical counterparts.

"This study is interesting on many levels," commented Dr. Kris Chesky,
one of the study's researchers. "First of all, it flies in the face of all the
stereotypes out there about musicians. It also seems to support the
assertion that studying music helps people learn to concentrate."

The study looked at 362 students who were in their first semester of
college. They were given three tests, measuring performance anxiety,
emotional concerns and alcohol related problems. In addition to having
fewer battles with the bottle, researchers also noted that the musicians
seemed to have surer footing when facing tests.

Reference: Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998


Researchers find arts training not only raises scholastic                   
performance, but also improves student behavior and attitude.

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%. 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.

Reference: Nature May 23, 1996