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There is a strong correleation between music and academic achievement.

How playing an instrument benefits your Brain:
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Washington Post Article "Science Just Discovered Something Amazing About What Childhood Piano Lessons Did to You"Click  

Here's some research to show how music helps your child: 


A number of studies support the contention that students who participate in formal music education have higher academic achievement scores than students who do not participate in formal music education (Babo, 2001; Cardarelli, 2003; Cox, 2001; Huang, 2004; Miranda, 2001; Schneider & Klotz, 2000; Underwood, 2000). Furthermore, being excused from nonmusic classes to attend instrumental lessons does not adversely affect academic performance (Cox, 2001).

 Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district. Students in top-quality music programs scored 22% better in English and 20% better in math than students in deficient music programs. Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 19% higher in English than students in schools without a music program. Students in top-quality instrumental programs scored 17% higher in math than children in schools without a music program. Students at schools with excellent music programs had higher English and math test scores across the country than students in schools with low-quality music programs. Students in all regions with lower-quality instrumental programs scored higher in English and math than students who had no music at all. (MENC Journal of Research in Music Education, Winter 2006, Vol. 54, No. 4, pgs. 293- 307; ―Examination of Relationship between Participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results‖ by Christopher M. Johnson and Jenny E. Memmott, University of Kansas)  
Young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training. The brains of musically trained children respond to music in a different way to those of untrained children, and that the musical training improves their memory. After one year the musically trained children performed better in a memory test that is correlated with general intelligence skills such as literacy, verbal memory, Visio spatial processing, mathematics and IQ. Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behaviour at McMaster University, Director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind; Canada; published 9/20/06;
  A 2004 Stanford University study showed that mastering a musical instrument improves the way the human brain processes parts of spoken language. In two studies, researchers demonstrated that people with musical experience found it easier than non-musicians to detect small differences in word syllables. They also discovered that musical training helps the brain work more efficiently in distinguishing split-second differences between rapidly changing sounds that are essential to processing language. About 40 adults, divided into groups of musicians and non-musician, matched by age, sex, general language ability and intelligence, were tested. To qualify, the musicians need to have started playing instruments before age 7 and never stopped, practicing several hours/week. Functional magnetic resonance imaging showed the musicians had more focused, efficient brain activity. “This is the first example showing how musical training alters how your brain processes language components.” – Prof. John Gabrieli, former Stanford psychology professor, now associate director of MIT’s Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging. (, Nov. 2005)   Playing a musical instrument significantly enhances the brainstem’s sensitivity to speech sounds. This relates to encoding skills involved with music and language. Experience with music at a young age can “fine-tune” the brain’s auditory system. – from a study supported by Northwestern University, grants from the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Nina Kraus, director of NWU’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory and senior author of the study, which appeared in April 2007 Nature Neuroscience. Other contributing researchers/authors: Patrick Wong, primary author “Musical Experience Shapes Human Brainstem Encoding of Linguistic Pitch Patterns” Other researchers Erika Skoe, Nicole Russo, Tasha Dees; info from  A study of 31 children found that children who received keyboard instruction for two years beginning at age 3 continued to score higher on spatial-temporal and arithmetic tasks two years after the instruction was terminated (Rauscher & LeMieux, 2003). The age at which children begin instruction appears to affect the duration of extra-musical cognitive outcomes, and longitudinal research suggests that at least two years of music instruction are required for sustained enhancement of spatial abilities (Rauscher, 2002); ERIC Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting , Can Music Instruction Affect Children's Cognitive Development? ERIC Digest; Frances H. Rauscher; ERIC Identifier: ED480540, Publication Date: 09/2003.

Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In 2006, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 43 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. Scores for those with coursework in music appreciation were 62 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math portion. – The Student Descriptive Questionnaire, a self-reported component of the SAT that gathers information about students’ academic preparation, gathered data for these reports. Source: The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2006;

Schools that have higher levels of student participation in the fine arts receive higher academic ratings and have lower drop out rates. Average student enrollment in fine arts courses is 17 percent points higher in high schools that are rated “exemplary” than in those rated “low performing”, based on data from the Texas Education Agency on 951 high schools. Schools with the lowest drop out rates on average have 52% of their students enrolled in fine arts classes while schools with the highest drop out rates have only 42% of their students in fine arts courses. The data from 864 middle schools followed the same trend as high schools. – Analysis conducted by the Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education and the Texas Music Educators Association ( Full report:

Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology (for high school students) play one or more musical instruments. This led the Siemens Foundation to host a recital at Carnegie Hall in 2004, featuring some of these young people, after which a panel of experts debated the nature of the apparent science/music link. – The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, Feb. 2005
Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998)