5 Studies that Prove the Benefits of Music Education for Children [Infographic]

Posted by Sydney Myers

May 30th, 2017

How much does music education help children? More than some may realize. Here are the results of a few studies that prove the benefits of music education.

benefits of music education

Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education. - Plato Click To Tweet

The benefits of music education

Music education helps children to develop many crucial skills and personal values. It can help a child cultivate self-discipline, focus, and a sense of achievement. But it can go even deeper. Music education can help children to develop creative thinking and spatial intelligence. This vital skill helps with solving puzzles, navigation, engineering, and other visual problem-solving abilities.

Studies that prove the benefits of music education

Here are five studies that show how music education can benefit children.

  • A 2004 study by Glenn Schellenberg, PhD, showed that 6-year-olds who were given music lessons for one school year saw a greater increase in IQ than those who were not given music lessons.
  • A later study by Dr. Schellenberg found that six years of music lessons given to children was associated with an increase in IQ of 7.5 points. College freshman who had six years of music training as a child had an IQ two points higher than their peers. They also saw “small but significant” improvements in organization, reasoning, and high school grades.
  • In a 2014 study by Nancy Pederson, participants who played an instrument as an adult had a 64% lower likelihood of developing a cognitive impairment or dementia.
  • On the 2012 SAT, students who participated in music scored an average of 31 points above average in reading, 23 points above average in math, and 31 points above average in writing.
  • Graduation rates are significantly higher in schools that have a music program compared to those that do not. Schools that have a music program have a 90.2 percent graduation rate. Schools without a music program have 72.9 percent graduation rate.

These are just a few studies that show the benefits of music education for children. If your school has a music program, enroll your child!

>> Read Next: 7 Lessons I Learned in Band


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