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Below are articles on the relationship between music and academic achievement.
Full text of articles is limited to IMSA students, faculty, and staff.
Abstracts courtsey of publishers.
Cabanac, A. (2013, Nov. 1). Music and academic performance. Behavioural Brain Research, 256, 257- 260. Doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2013.08.023.
In a previous study we demonstrated that listening to a pleasant music while performing an academic test helped students to overcome stress, to devote more time to more stressful and more complicated task and the grades were higher. Yet, there remained ambiguities as for the causes of the higher test performance of these students: do they perform better because they hear music during their examinations, or would they perform better anyway because they are more gifted/motivated? This motivated the current study as a preliminary step toward that general question: Do students who like/perform music have better grades than the others? Our results confirmed this hypothesis: students studying music have better grades in all subjects.
Cavanagh, S. (2009, March 4). Music and Academic Achievement; The Impact of Music on Childhood Adolescent Achievement. Education Week, 28(23), 4.
Exposure to music, both in and out of school, is tied to higher student achievement in mathematics and reading, though involvement with music varies among children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, a study has found.
Cox, H. A., & Stephens, L. J. (2006). The effect of music participation on mathematical achievement and overall academic achievement of high school students. International Journal Of Mathematical Education In Science & Technology, 37(7), 757-763. doi:10.1
Available to interlibrary loan
A study was conducted on high school students, comparing those with some music credits to those with none. No statistically significant difference was found in their mean math grade point averages (GPA) or their mean cumulative GPAs. Students were then separated into two groups based on the number of music credits. Students who had earned at least two music credits per grade level were placed into Group A. This category included ninth graders with two or more music credits, tenth graders with four or more music credits, eleventh graders with six or more music credits, and twelfth graders with eight or more music credits. The remaining students were placed into Group B. Group A students performed better than group B students. However, the differences were not statistically significant. Scatter plots indicated a slight upward trend in GPAs as the number of music credits increased. Lower GPAs were nonexistent as the music credits increased.
Kestrom, J. M. (1998). The Untapped Power of Music: Its Role in the Curriculum and Its Effect on Academic Achievement. NASSP Bulletin, 82(597), 34-43.
b>Available to interlibrary loan
To date, music has played a relatively minor role in U.S. schools. Current research has uncovered findings about the value of music study and its relationship to academic achievement. Music instruction is a powerful tool that educators can use to promote academic achievement and mental discipline. Music deserves a place alongside the core subjects of math, science, history, and language arts.
Nathan, L. (2012). All Students Are Artists. Educational Leadership, 69(5), 48-51.
The article discusses strategies to improve student behavior and achievement in academic disciplines such as science and English by implementing strategies derived from artistic disciplines such as dance and the visual and performing arts. The author focuses on Massachusetts' Boston Arts Academy, a performing arts high school. Topics include the use of bodily movement derived from dance to learn science and the use of musical notation and structure to improve reading achievement. Also discussed are the graduation statistics of Boston Arts Academy and the importance of confidence building in student achievement.
Ravitch, D., & Cortese, A. (2009). Why We're behind: What Top Nations Teach Their Students but We Don't. Education Digest: Essential Readings Condensed For Quick Review, 75(1), 35-38.
Over the years, American students consistently have ranked below those from Finland, Canada, Japan, and at least a dozen other industrialized nations on international tests of mathematics, science, and reading. The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) has done nothing to close this gap. And the authors suspect that the law may be making matters worse. In part, because NCLB has narrowed the curriculum so that most students are not acquiring the broad base of knowledge they need to succeed as they advance through school. While American students are spending endless hours preparing to take tests of their basic reading and math skills, their peers in high-performing nations are reading poetry and novels, conducting experiments in chemistry and physics, making music, and studying important historical issues. The U.S. is the only leading industrialized nation that considers the mastery of basic skills to be the goal of K-12 education.
Schellenberg, E. (2006). Long-Term Positive Associations between Music Lessons and IQ. Journal Of Educational Psychology, 98(2), 457-468.
In Study 1 (N = 147), duration of music lessons was correlated positively with IQ and with academic ability among 6- to 11-year-olds, even when potential confounding variables (i.e., family income, parents' education, involvement in nonmusical activities) were held constant. In Study 2 (N = 150), similar but weaker associations between playing music in childhood and intellectual functioning were evident among undergraduates. In both studies, there was no evidence that musical involvement had stronger associations with some aspects of cognitive ability (e.g., mathematical, spatial-temporal, verbal) than with others. These results indicate that formal exposure to music in childhood is associated positively with IQ and with academic performance and that such associations are small but general and long lasting.
Vaughn, K. (2000). Music and Mathematics: Modest Support for the Oft-Claimed Relationship. Journal Of Aesthetic Education, 34(3-4), 149-66.
The author conducted three meta-analyses to investigate the effects of music instruction/exposure on improvements in mathematics. The meta-analyses included 25 studies published between 1950 and 1999. The first meta-analysis examined correlational studies that investigated whether students who chose to study music had high math outcomes and found a modest positive correlation between the voluntary study of music and mathematical achievement. The second meta-analysis reviewed experimental studies that assessed if music instruction causes mathematical improvement and found music training was effective at improving mathematics performance. The third meta-analysis included experimental studies that tested whether performance on math tests improves when music is played in the background and found that there was only a very small positive effect of playing music in the background and mathematics performance.