Music-Facts

A sampling of information regarding the positive benefits music has on a child’s life.

Featured Music Education Facts

Purdue University Band and Orchestra Data 
New statistics released from the office of Student Affairs, Purdue University. These statistics tell the continuing story of music students excelling beyond their non-music counterparts. The additional interesting fact specific to this report is Purdue is a school with no music degrees, yet one that is top in its focus of studies!

The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, is giving away to a new world in which “right brain” qualities – inventiveness, empathy, and meaning predominate. That’s what business is about today. This is a hard-headed argument that arts education is not ornamental but fundamental for economic reasons. We should be adding and not cutting the arts. Daniel Pink, author of the New York Times and Business Week bestseller, A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. 2005

Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, Letter to Schools and Community Leaders, 2009
In August of 2009 U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan said: “At this time when you are making critical and far-reaching budget and program decisions…I write to bring to your attention the importance of the arts as a core academic subject and part of a complete education for all students. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines the arts as a core subject, and the arts play a significant role in children’s development and learning process. The arts can help students become tenacious, team-oriented problem solvers who are confident and able to think creatively.”

The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT’s than students with no participation.
Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by the Music Educators National Conference (2002)

Arts in the schools increase test scores and lower dropout rates. The Arts Education Partnership’s 2009 publication, Critical Links contains 62 academic research studies that, taken together, demonstrate that arts education helps close the achievement gap, improve academic skills essential for reading and language development, and advance students’ motivation to learn.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found15-year-olds in the U.S. placed 25th out of 30 countries in math and 21st in science. Why is it the top three countries (Korea, Finland and China) in Math and Science require Music and arts in their curriculums in order to graduate from high school and much of America does not?

Academics

Public opinion polls often show great support for arts education for children and youth. However, anecdotes and research often report a decline in arts education budgets and instructional time. This paradox indicates a schism between the value of arts education that individuals perceive and the willingness of individuals to make decisions that put the arts firmly in the school day. While many school leaders, including principals and school board members, state their high esteem for arts education, their budgeting and scheduling decisions often decrease the presence or quality of arts education in the schools they manage. This conundrum must be addressed in order to secure consistent, high quality arts education for all students.
2010 Arts Education Trends Report, Americans for the Arts

In August of 2009 U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan said: “At this time when you are making critical and far-reaching budget and program decisions…I write to bring to your attention the importance of the arts as a core academic subject and part of a complete education for all students. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines the arts as a core subject, and the arts play a significant role in children’s development and learning process. The arts can help students become tenacious, team-oriented problem solvers who are confident and able to think creatively.”

The College Board showed that students who took four years of arts and music classes while in high school scored 91 points better on their SATs than students who took only one-half year or less. (1070 vs. 979, respectively). Data from 2009

Music Ed Facts-Academics (333.07 kB)
Three plus pages full of individual music facts providing substantial evidence that involvement in music supports the development of the student’s whole mind.

Nurturing Child Development (54.42 kB)
Edmonton Journal article presents the praises of whole-child development through music and movement at an early age.

How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition (80.16 kB)
If there were a sure fire way to improve your brain would you try it? Recent research offers a possibility with much better, science-based support: that focused training in the arts strengthens the brain’s attention system, which in turn can improve cognition more generally.  Michael I. Posner, Ph.D., and Brenda Patoine, 2009

Insights Gained Into Arts and Smarts (41.28 kB)
Findings released after three years of studies by neuroscientists and psychologists at seven universities help amplify scientists’ understanding of how training in the arts might contribute to improving the general thinking skills of children and adults.  Debra Viadero, 2008

Using Statistics to Your Programs Advantage (1.48 MB)
“My student can’t be in band because they need to make sure that they are prepared in their core courses for college.”  “I didn’t sign up for marching band/band because of the time commitment. I didn’t want my grades to suffer.”Every band director has heard some variation of the above statements from parents or students rationalizing a choice to participate in our activity. We have also all noticed a trend on both the state and national level towards needing statistical proof for every choice made involving staffing, funding, and even the necessity of having arts programs in our schools. How can you make this numbers driven approach to analyzing the worth of your program work FOR you instead of constantly fighting the battle AGAINST it?  Chris Kreke, Associate Director of Bands, Carmel H.S., IN, 2011 

 

Gallop Poll

Music Education Facts – Gallop Poll (1.42 MB)

  1. 94% of respondents believe music is part of a well-rounded education, and that schools should offer instrument music instruction as part of the regular curriculum.
  2. 85% of Americans believe that music is a very important part of their life.
  3. 85% believe participation in school music corresponds with better grades and higher test scores.
  4. 82% of Americans wish they had learned to play a musical instrument.

Character Development

With music in schools, students connect to each other better-greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm.
   Eric Jensen, Arts With the Brain in Mind, 2001

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.
   H. Con. Res. 266, United States Senate, June 13, 2000

Nine out of ten adults and teenagers who play instruments agree that music making brings the family closer together.
   Music Making and Our Schools, American Music Conference, 2000

Music Education Facts – Character Development (117.36 kB)

Keep Music Education Strong In Public Schools (60 kB)
Students learn to express their emotions better through music.  Learning about this as young people will affect them all their lives. This article is adapted from remarks by Michael Yaffe, associate dean of the Yale School of Music, at the final event of the school’s Morse Summer Music Academy, 2011

Education Reform

The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, is giving away to a new world in which “right brain” qualities – inventiveness, empathy, and meaning predominate. That’s what business is about today. This is a hard-headed argument that arts education is not ornamental but fundamental for economic reasons. We should be adding and not cutting the arts.
  Daniel Pink, author of the New York Times and Business Week bestseller, A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. 2005

“When I hear people asking how do we fix the education system, I tell them we need to do the opposite of what is happening, cutting budgets by cutting music programs…. Nothing could be stupider than removing the ability for the left and right brains to function. Ask a CEO what they are looking for in an employee and they say they need people who understand teamwork, people who are disciplined, people who understand the big picture. You know what they need? They need musicians.”
  Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, MENC Centennial Congress, Orlando, Florida, June 2007

Music Education Facts – Education Reform (113.12 kB)

Concert Program

Music Ed Facts-Concert Program (441.37 kB)
A collection of music education facts representing the benefits music study has on education, character development, cognitive development, and the world’s economy.   Use this whole sheet, or pull facts from it to insert into your program.