Why Music?

Music Advocacy's Top Ten for Parents

1. In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems.

2. Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills.

3. A ten-year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores, regardless of socioeconomic background.

4. A 1997 study of elementary students in an arts-based program concluded that students' math test scores rose as their time in arts education classes increased.

5. First-grade students who had daily music instruction scored higher on creativity tests than a control group without music instruction.

6. In a Scottish study, one group of elementary students received musical training, while another other group received an equal amount of discussion skills training. After six (6) months, the students in the music group achieved a significant increase in reading test scores, while the reading test scores of the discussion skills group did not change.

7. According to a 1991 study, students in schools with arts-focused curriculums reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group.

8. Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives.

9. In a 1999 Columbia University study, students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels.

10. College admissions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness.

Sources: - Americans Love Making Music - And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.
- Rhythm seen as key to music's evolutionary role in human intellectual development, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000.
- Dr. James Catterall, UCLA.
- "Arts Exposure and Class Performance," Phi Delta Kappan, October, 1998.
- K.L. Wolff, The Effects of General Music Education on the Academeic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children, 1992.
- Sheila Douglas and Peter Willatts, Journal of Research in Reading, 1994.
- Pamela Aschbacher and Joan Herman, The Humanitas Program Evaluation, 1991.
- "Cassily Column," TCAMS Professional Resource Center, 2000.
- The Arts Education Partnership, 1999.
- Carl Hartman, "Arts May Improve Students' Grades," The Associated Press, October, 1999.

Here's what parents can do at home!

1) Ask your child what they are learning in music class.
2)  Find a place in the community where your child can participate in musical activities. This could be children's choir, private music lessons, or even dance. 
3) Read poetry to them! Most poems have their own natural rhythm that will enhance musical cognizance. Rhyming games or hand clapping games add even more extra benefits.
4) When your child gets to 6th grade, encourage him or her to sign up for a musical elective (or any other kind of art). 
5) Have your student write a letter to a government official explaining how music education (or any other kind of art education) has helped them learn and grow. This is great writing practice and helps advocate keeping music in the schools.