Study after study proves that regardless of socioeconomic background, music- making students do better in school than those who have no music involvement. Whether it is improved spatial-temporal reasoning, which is integral to math, or repetition of tunes and melodies, which is integral to verbal memory, learning, playing and creating music benefits children in a myriad of ways.
To learn more, see below, and read The Importance of Music.
A comprehensive series of skill tests run on 5,154 fifth-graders found that kids who were learning to play an instrument received higher marks than their classmates who were not. The longer the children had been in the instrumental programs, the higher they scored. (The American Music Conference)
Regardless of socioeconomic background, according to a ten-year study that tracked more than 25,000 students, music-making students get higher marks on standardized tests than those who have no music involvement. (Catterall, 2002)
The College Entrance Examination board found that students in music programs scored 63 points higher on the verbal and 44 points higher on the math sections of the SATs than students with no music participation. ("College Bound Seniors National Report Profile of SAT Program Test Takers," Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001)
U.S. Department of Education data showed that students involved in band or orchestra during their middle and high school years demonstrated significantly higher levels of math proficiency by grade twelve. The results were even more pronounced when comparing students from low-income families. (Catterall, 1999)
A year-long study on 162 sixth-graders found that students with two or three years of instrumental musical experience performed siginificantly higher on a standardized test exploring reading and verbal skills than the students with no instrumental music instruction. (Butzlaff. 2000)
A study using six to fifteen year-old boys found that music training significantly increased verbal memory. And as expected, the longer the training, the better the verbal memory. (Ho, Cheung, & Chan, 2003)
A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. (Burton, 1999)
Students who participate in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs among any group in our society. (U.S. House of Representatives, 2000)
In several national studies over the past decade, students at risk of dropping out of school cite participation in the arts as their reason for staying. These students also reported watching fewer hours of television, participating more in community service and having less feelings of boredom in school. (Catterall, 2002)