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Newly-Released Study Confirms That Music Education Supports Improved Student Academic Achievement

Dutch researchers have published a first-of-its-kind study confirming that regular, structured music education uniquely provides cognitive benefits that can lead to improved academic performance.

The study examined whether receiving structured music lessons during the school day improved children’s cognitive functions compared to visual arts or no arts lessons. They found that children randomly assigned to receive music lessons uniquely improved in cognitive functions like planning and self-control, which contributed to gains in standardized academic test scores. These gains were apparent after only two and a half years of weekly, one-to-two-hour lessons.  The children learned music making, singing, improvising, and theory.

“This research confirms what Education Through Music knows anecdotally and from internal evaluation,” said Katherine Damkohler, Executive Director of Education Through Music. “Children receiving music education in school achieve cognitive benefits that support learning. Depriving children of music education deprives them of opportunities to become life-long learners.”

The goal of the study, titled Longitudinal Analysis of Music Education on Executive Functions in Primary School Children, was to test whether structured music lessons can affect cognitive functions that underlie academic achievement. For more information about the study visit: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2018.00103/full.

About Education Through Music
Education Through Music was founded in 1991 to promote the integration of music into the curricula of under-resourced schools in order to enhance students’ academic performance and general development. ETM forms long-term partnerships with elementary and middle schools to develop sustainable, long-term music programs.

The ETM model currently serves nearly 30,000 students in New York City, and our model reaches another 12,000 children through the work of our licensed affiliate organization in Los Angeles. ETM’s comprehensive, sustainable music education network has garnered the support of corporations, public policy makers and foundations, including The Music Man Foundation, CMA Foundation, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, Steinway & Sons, William Randolph Hearst Foundation and D’Addario Foundation. For more information visit ETMonline.org