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Why Is Music Education Important?

Nearly everyone enjoys music. It can be transformative, calming, energizing, creative, therapeutic, and more. But despite music’s universality, it’s being threatened in schools. At Education Through Music, we believe that every child, at every school, deserves access to high-quality music education. It is part of a well-rounded education, essential for students’ social and emotional well-being, and a critical tool for establishing equity and access.

Well-Rounded Education

Music education is part of a well-rounded education for all students as understood and supported by federal and state policymakers.

Click here to learn more about Well-Rounded Education.

Social and Emotional Well-Being

Music education supports students’ social and emotional well-being.

Click here to learn more about Social and Emotional Well-being.

Equity and Access

Our organization exists because systemic racism has created inequities in access to education. We strive to help level the playing field for students from under-resourced communities by ensuring that all students have access to high-quality music education, no matter their background or circumstance.

Click here to learn more about Equity and Access.

Well-Rounded Education

  • According to the, Every Student Succeeds Act music is an essential component of a well-rounded education.
  • 88% of families agree it is important that their child’s school has a music program. 
  • Quality general music education has been linked with the development of self-control, planning, and verbal intelligence: the life skills students need to make decisions, focus, plan, problem-solve, and juggle multiple tasks. It also fosters a motivation to learn music. (from Longitudinal Analysis of Music Education on Executive Functions in Primary School Children)


“I don’t think education is complete without music.”
– ETM Partner School Principal

“Without music, I feel a piece of me is missing.”
– ETM Partner School Student

Social and Emotional Well-Being

  • 70% of parents whose children attend ETM partner schools agree that learning music helps their child’s social development.
  • 85% of ensemble students say they have made at least one new friend through ensemble.
  • 79% of students say their music teacher or ensemble director cares about them as a person.
  • 72% of students say their music teacher or ensemble director is someone they can go to if they need help with something.


“Music does help me a lot, and it’s helped me get through some really difficult times.”
– ETM Partner School Student

“It’s empowering. It gives you a strength that no other activity can give you.”
– ETM Partner School Student

Equity and Access

  • 40% of students in new partner schools report they have never before had a general music class
  • 79% of families say it would be difficult for them to pay for private music lessons without a school music program
  • 85% of ETM partner public schools’ student population comes from low-income households


“I think the music program is just excellent. My child loves the music class she is in because she knows many schools don’t have music in their area.”
– ETM Partner School Parent

“ETM offers schools in low-income neighborhoods the opportunity for a quality music education and instrumental program.”
– ETM Partner School Principal

All data is from our 2018 Impact Report unless otherwise indicated.