"Music is an essential part of everything we do. Like puppetry, music has an abstract quality which speaks to a worldwide audience in a wonderful way that nourishes the soul.'

Jim Henson,
television producer & puppeteer

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

Click Below to read why…


* Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. ~Lewis Thomas, Case for Music in the Schools, Phi Delta Kappa, 1994

* 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

* High school music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages (GPA) than
non-musicians in the same school. ~ National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988

* 78% of Americans feel learning a musical instrument helps students perform better in other subjects. ~ Gallup Poll, “American Attitudes Toward Music,” 2003

* 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

* 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

* 71% of Americans surveyed by the Gallup Poll believe that teenagers who play an instrument are less likely to have disciplinary problems. ~ Gallup Poll, “American Attitudes Toward Music,” 2003

* A study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading
scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math. ~ The Case for Music in the Schools, Phi Delta Kappa, 1994

* Students who were exposed to music-based lessons scored a full 100% higher on fractions tests than those who learned in the conventional manner.~ Neurological Research, March 15, 1999

* The schools that produced the highest academic achievement in the United States today are spending 20% to 30% of the day on the arts, with special emphasis on music.
~ International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test, 1988

* Music enhances the process of learning. The systems they nourish, which include our integrated sensory, attention, cognitive, emotional and motor capacities, are shown to be the driving forces behind all other learning.
~ Konrad, R.R., Empathy, Arts and Social Studies, 2000

* Teaching through the arts motivates children and increases their aptitude for learning.
~ Eric Jensen, Arts With the Brain in Mind, 2001

* During moments of musical euphoria, blood travels through the brain to areas where other stimuli can produce feelings of contentment and joy-and travels away from brain cell areas associated with depression and fear.
~ Dr. Frederick Tims, reported in AMC Music News, June 2, 1999

* Students of lower socioeconomic status gain as much or more from arts instruction than those of higher socioeconomic status.
~ James Catterall et al., 1999

* 95% of Americans in a 2003 Gallup Poll believe that music is a key component in a child’s well-rounded education; three quarters of those surveyed feel that schools should mandate music education.
~ Gallup Poll, “American Attitudes Toward Music,” 2003

* Martin Gardiner of Brown University tracked the criminal records of Rhode Island residents from birth through age 30, and he concluded the more a resident was involved in music, the lower the person’s arrest record.
~ Music Linked to Reduced Criminality, MuSICA Research Notes, Winter 2000

* With music instruction in schools, teachers found that students were less aggressive.
~ Konrad, R.R., Empathy, Arts and Social Studies, 2000

* Students of lower socioeconomic status who took music lessons in grades 8-12 increased their math scores significantly as compared to non-music students. But just as important, reading, history,geography and even social skills soared by 40%.
~ Gardiner, Fox, Jeffrey and Knowles,

* In 2003, 54% of American households reported having a least one musical instrument player, the highest figure since the study began in 1978.
~ Gallup Poll, “American Attitudes Toward Music,” 2003

* The College Entrance Examination Board found that students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math than students with no arts participation.
~ College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001

* The world’s top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades.
~ 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test

* Music training helps under-achievers. Students lagging behind in scholastic performance caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22% when given music instruction over seven months.
~ Nature, May 23, 1996

* College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts for
performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol-related problems.
~ Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

* Children given piano lessons significantly improved in their spatial-temporal IQ scores (important for some types of mathematical reasoning) compared to children who received computer lessons, casual singing or no lessons.
~ Rauscher, F.H., et al., Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial temporal reasoning, 1997

* U.S. Department of Education data show that students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music during the middle- and high-school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.”
~ James Catterall, Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga, “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development,” 1999

* Children who have received music instruction scored higher marks on tests of their spatial and arithmetic skills.
~ Rauscher, F.H., Shaw, G.L., Levine, L.J., Wright, E.L., Dennis, W.R., and Newcomb, R., Music training causes long-term enhancement of preschool children’s spatial temporal reasoning, 1997

* The foremost technical designers and engineers in Silicon Valley are almost all practicing
~ Dee Dickinson, Music and the Mind, 1993

College-bound seniors who study music score better than the average student in both the verbal and math sections of the SAT. In 2004, music students averaged 536 for verbal and 533 for math, while the overall average was 508 for verbal and 518 for math.
From: 2004 College-Bound Seniors: A Profile of SAT Program Test-Takers
Available here: College Board: College Bound Seniors 2004

A connection similar to the one found between music programs and improved performance on the SAT verbal test has also been found in other standardized reading tests.
From: “Can Music Be Used to Teach Reading?,” The Journal of Aesthetic Education, Fall 2000, 34 (3): 167-178

Students who were significantly involved in music during middle and high school showed higher levels of math proficiency by their senior year regardless of socioeconomic status.
From: “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts.” Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999.