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Research Infographics

Music and Social Skills

Correlation exists between music education and higher emotional intelligence and empathy, both indications of enhanced social skills. For initially low scoring students, those who received 10 months of group music education scored 10% higher on tests of sympathy and 12% higher on tests of general prosocial skills compared to non-music students. Correlation exists between music education and enhanced social skills including sympathy.

Students enrolled in a music specialized school scored on average 4% higher than students enrolled in general education on tests of general emotional intelligence and 9% higher than non-music students on tests of empathy.

Music and Reading Skills

Stronger reading and prereading skills have been found to correlate with music education.

Vocabulary scores increased by almost 15% more for students taking piano lessons than non music students.

Word identification scores of kindergarten age children increased on average 4 times more after regular music sessions compared to the control group of children not taking regular music lessons.

The average reading comprehension scores of 6-9 year old’s with 2.7 years of music training were 5% higher than the highest average score (90-110) on formal reading comprehension tests. Correlation exists between music education and improved reading skills.

Music and Academic Achievement

Higher academic performance is correlated with music education. Better scores being reached, letter grades increasing and entire school performance results jumping when music education programming is implemented.

Average final exam grades across Grade 11/12 English, Grade 10 Math and Science were 4% higher for music students compared to non music student scores. Standardized test scores of students enrolled in a music program were an average 10.7 points higher compared to those not enrolled.

Students in grades 4-8 enrolled in the program showed ‘differences that correspond with approximately one-quarter and one third of a letter grade respectively’ (English Language Arts and math). School’s with music programs deemed ‘excellent’ had 22% better English scores and 20% math scores compared with schools with less quality programming.

Music and Mental Health

Better mental wellbeing is correlated with music education. Greater feelings of optimism and self confidence are associated with being involved in music education, lower stress levels are associated with listening to music, and lower depression and anxiety scores are associated with the implementation of music therapy treatments alongside pharmacological treatment.

Stress levels were 46% percent lower during tests for students listening to ‘pleasant music’ compared to those listening to ‘unpleasant’ or indifferent music. Pleasant music listening was found to be correlated with lower stress levels and improved academic performance. Heart rates (representing stress and anxiety) decreased by 5% while listening to classical music.

Lower stress levels and listening to classical music are correlated. After music therapy sessions alongside pharmacological treatment, anxiety scores lowered significantly by almost 67% and depression scores lowered by 57%.

Music therapy is therefore thought to be an excellent method for treating anxiety and depression disorders alongside pharmacological treatment. In a study with 78 higher education music students, 32% of students felt their self confidence had improved as a result of their education. The study was done with two general questions and responses were only later grouped based on similarity.

Music and Postsecondary Success

Better postsecondary success is correlated with music education. Higher chances to apply, attend, and earn a 4 year degree at a young age are associated with participating in music education.

For attending college and earning a degree at a young age, every additional year increased these chances. Arts students were 29% more likely to apply for college than non arts students.

Music students were 55% more likely to attend any postsecondary school and each extra year of music education went with an 18% increase of attendance. Music students were also 29% more likely to earn a 4 year degree between 24-32 and each extra year of music education went with a 12% increase of earning one.

Music and Verbal Skills

Stronger verbal skills are correlated with music education. Higher increases in verbal retention and verbal IQ scores for music students compared to non music students, and significant jumps in verbal sequencing ability all occur when music education is implemented and prolonged in students’ lives.

Research shows a 22% increase in verbal sequencing skills after 3 years of piano training, an 11% higher increase in verbal retention compared to discontinued music students after 1 year of continued musical training and a 9% higher increase in verbal IQ for music students enrolled in school music programming compared to non music students following 2 and a half years.

Music and Motor Skills

Better motor skills are correlated with music education. More music kids are high performing in bimanual dexterity and coordination tests compared to both kids with sports training and no training.

For college students, pianists have higher bimanual reaction times than those with no musical training, 12% more kids were high performing in bimanual and dexterity tests with music training compared to sports training and 20% more kids were high performing in bimanual and dexterity tests with music training compared to no training.

In addition to this, bimanual reaction time was 8% faster in music students compared to non music students.

Music and Transferable Skills

Development of important transferable skills is correlated with music education. Better social and communication skills as well as teamwork ability all have been shown to be associated with increased music education.

In a self reporting study, 55% of music students reported social skill development and 26% of music students reported teamwork development. In addition, 32% of music students reported increases in self confidence and 14% reported increased cooperation skills.

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