Learning an instrument encourages academic progress

The Romsey Advertiser is reporting that learning to play a musical instrument or having singing lessons helps teenagers make better progress in English and Maths.

This is the finding of research by Hampshire County Council’s Music Service and The Institute of Education – which has now been published in the British Journal of Music Education.

Between Key Stage 2 and Key stage 4, children (in the study) who were not learning any musical instrument progressed an average of 3.03 levels in English. Children learning an instrument or taking singing lessons progressed by an average of 3.6 levels. In maths, the results were even more marked, with non-instrumentalists progressing an average of 3 levels, and instrumentalists progressing an average of 3.83 levels. 

Hampshire County Council’s executive member for education, Councillor Peter Edgar said: “It will come as no surprise to many teachers and musicians that learning music helps young people learn other subjects more successfully. We now have evidence to support that view. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to actually prove this through academic research, validated by peer review.

“Now that the research is available worldwide in an international, highly respected, professional journal, to the music education community, it’s to be hoped that other education authorities and schools will be able to make use of our learning.”

The research was instigated because many secondary school pupils miss some of their timetabled lessons in order to pursue learning an instrument. Thus, Hampshire County Council was keen to understand the effect of this on their learning.

More at: Learning an instrument encourages academic progress

Do you agree with the findings of the study? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. This is not evidence of a causal link between the music lessons and the maths.It is more likely that the types of parent who give their children music lessons also support their learning in other ways.

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