Playing Music Leads to Higher Test Scores

Dust off that piano or the trumpet you’ve had in the closet- playing music can benefit your child in more ways than one!

Students who learned to play a musical instrument in elementary school and continued playing in high school scored about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers in their English, math, and science skills, regardless of their socioeconomic background, ethnicity, prior learning or gender, according to a recent study from researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

The study, which was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, analyzed the performance of more than 112,000 students (grades 7–12). They examined the test scores (mathematics and science achievement in grade 10 and English achievement in grades 10 and 12) of Canadian students who had completed grade 12. They considered students who took at least one instrumental music course in the regular school curriculum as participating in music education.  The study found an association between higher levels of music engagement (more courses) and higher exam scores on all subjects. The association was most pronounced for high engagement in instrumental versus vocal music. 

So, in the words of Lionel Richie, “Let the music play on, play on”!