Quick Quotes

Research and Advocacy Tools to Use Right Now

Research reveals strong correlations between quality music education in school and academic achievement, healthy social development, preparation for the 21st century workplace and the quality of a young person’s life. Here are some key points you can use to help build and maintain support for music education in our public schools:

  • 91% of American voters indicate that music and the arts are essential to building capacities of the imagination. 82% of voters want to build imagination and creative skills in schools. Almost 9 in 10 voters agree that the imagination is a key ingredient to innovation and student success.
    – 2007 poll by Lake Research Partners
  • Students in high quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, independent of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.
    – study conducted by Dr. Christopher Johnson, University of Kansas, published in the Spring 2007 issue of the Journal for Research in Music Education
  • 96% of high school principals surveyed agree that participating in music education encourages and motivates students to stay in school. 89% feel that a high-quality music education program contributes to their school achieving higher graduation rates.
    – 2006 poll by Harris Interactive
  • 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.
    – study conducted by Dr. Patricia Shehan Campbell, University of Washington, published in the Fall 2007 Issue of the Journal for Research in Music Education

Young people who consistently participate in comprehensive, sequential, and rigorous arts programs are:
* 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
* 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
* 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
* 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
* 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem*

* Living the Arts through Language + Learning: A Report on Community-based Youth Organizations, Shirley Brice Heath, Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts Monograph, November 1998.

The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT’s than students with no participation.
– Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by the Music Educators National Conference (2002)

U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.”
U.S. Department of Education NELLS88 Database

Arts involvement teaches children many skills necessary to succeed in life, including problem solving and decision making, building self-confidence and self-discipline, the ability to imagine what might be and to accept responsibility for it, teamwork, the development of informed perception, and articulating a vision.
– Compiled from various research documents and reports

A research team reports that early music training dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills. These findings indicate that music uniquely enhances higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering.
* From Neurological Research, Feb 28, 1997; Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine

“Music education can be a positive force on all aspects of a child’s life, particularly on their academic success. The study of music by children has been linked to higher scores on the SAT and other learning aptitude tests, and has proven to be an invaluable tool in classrooms across the country. Given the impact music can have on our children’s education, we should support every effort to bring music into their classrooms.” Jeff Bingaman – U.S. Senator, New Mexico

Like mathematics, music has a universal language, with a symbolic way of representing the world. Again, like mathematics, the musical arts let us communicate with others–illuminate and record human insights. Musical arts are not only part of our built-in, biological design, but they may develop essential neurobiological systems. If they do, they are far more important than the fact that they might boost jigsaw puzzle (spatial) skills. Neurobiologist Mark Jude Tramo of Harvard Medical School says, “Music is biologically part of human life, just as music is aesthetically part of human life.” Compelling evidence supports the hypothesis that musical arts may provide a positive, significant, and lasting benefit to learners. There is no single piece of evidence, but the diversity and depth of supporting material is overwhelming. If this were a court case, the ruling would be that music is valuable beyond reasonable doubt.??Source: Arts with the Brain in Mind; Eric Jensen, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development?Source Date: 2001-01-01

“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.” – Bill Clinton, former President, United States of America

“The term ‘core academic subjects’ means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography.” – No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9101 (11)

According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as “disruptive” (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as “disruptive.” – Based on data from the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study), second follow-up, 1992