Educational participation and achievement

‘Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66 per cent of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. For comparison, 44 per cent of biochemistry majors were admitted. Also, a study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math.’
The comparative academic abilities of students in education and in other areas of a multi-focus university, Peter H Wood, ERIC Document No ED32748 ‘The Case for Music in the Schools’, Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994 (from the Children’s Music Workshop, USA)

‘Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades.’
National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up (1990), US Department of Education

‘The world’s top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States’ focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology.’
1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test

‘College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness.’
Carl Hartman, Arts may improve students’ grades, The Associated Press, October 1999 (from the Children’s Music Workshop, USA)<

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania School District analysed its 1997 dropout rate in terms of students’ musical experience. Students with no ensemble performance experience had a dropout rate of 7.4 per cent. Students with one to two years of ensemble experience had a dropout rate of one per cent, and those with three or more years of performance experience had a dropout rate of 0.0 per cent.
Eleanor Chute, ‘Music and art lessons do more than complement three R’s’, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 13 April 1998 (from the Children’s Music Workshop, USA)

According to Americans for the Arts, the USA’s leading non-profit organisation for the arts, ‘students with high levels of arts involvement are less likely to drop out of school by grade 10.’ The organization also cites a Stanford University study conducted between 1987 and 1998, found that young people who participated in an arts programme, at least three hours on three days of each week throughout at least a year, were four times as likely to be recognised for academic achievement, three times as likely to be elected to their class office, four times as likely to participate in a math and science fair, and three times more likely to win an award for school attendance than their peers who did not participate in an arts program.
Americans for the Arts, August 2004


Personal and social development

Intellectual development

Educational participation and achievement

Crime and substance abuse

Role models