Large scale survey reveals connection between “playing music instruments” and academic performance in “English, math, and science”.

A Canadian university team conducted a large-scale survey study which showed a positive correlation between high school students who played instruments and their grades in math, science, and English subjects. From these results, it turns out that playing musical instruments and music have a considerable effect on children with developing brains, and we can thus see the importance of incorporating music as a part of education.

Sampled Students:

① Students who completed a music course in three years of high school (14%)

② Students who did not choose music (around 86%)

③ Students who took at least one standardized math, science, or English test in their third year of high school

④ Students with detailed educational and socio-economic data in the community

  • Sampled from approximately 113,000 local public high school students

Research Goal:

Investigate the impact of musical education on mathematics, science, and English.

In the British Columbia area of public high schools, beginners cannot enroll in musical courses without prior practice of a musical instrument from junior high school or earlier. (This does not include general music or guitar courses.)

“Students who participated in music, who had higher achievement in music, and who were highly engaged in music had higher exam scores across all subjects, while these associations were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music.”

“On average, the children who learned to play a musical instrument for many years, and were now playing in high school band and orchestra, were the equivalent of about one academic year ahead of their peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades,” states Dr. Gouzouasis.

  • Those who played instruments performed better in school than those who focused on vocal music.
  • Consistently high average grades in math, English, and science were observed.
  • Consistency was also found even when researchers controlled for factors based on gender, language, and socio-economic background.

“Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding. A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences play a role in enhancing children’s cognitive capacities and their self-efficacy,” states Dr. Gouzouasis.

  • This research was published in the “Journal of Educational Psychology”.

These results present a strong motivation to get started with music.

Although music is intangible, it can be deeply engraved into the heart and evoke memories of the distant past deep within the brain, almost like a momentary blast in the past. It’s important to have a clear mind, but it is just as important to be in touch with one’s emotions. There is no doubt that taking up music at an early age can combine the two and be a vital step towards an enriching life. We look forward to helping you take that first step.

Start by contacting us here!