Great article courtesy of the NAMM Foundation. See more at Namm Foundation website.
1) Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons (Arete Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Arete Music Academy. Accessed July 17, 2014).
2) Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students (3rd graders) who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests (Hille, Katrin, et al. "Associations between music education, intelligence, and spelling ability in elementary school." Adv Cogn Psychol 7, 2011: 1–6. Web. Accessed February 24, 2015).
3) Schools that have music programs have an attendance rate of 93.3% compared to 84.9% in schools without music programs (The National Association for Music Education. "Music Makes the Grade." The National Association for Music Education. Accessed February 24, 2015).
4) Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community (Nature Neuroscience, April 2007).
5) Students in all regions with lower-quality instrumental programs scored higher in English and mathematics than students who had no music at all (Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott).
6) Students at schools with excellent music programs had higher English test scores across the country than students in schools with low-quality music programs; this was also true when considering mathematics (Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher Johnson, Jenny Memmott).
1) Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory (Strait, D.L. and N. Kraus, Biological impact of auditory expertise across the life span: musicians as a model of auditory learning. Hearing Research, 2013.)
2) Music training in childhood “fundamentally alters the nervous system such that neural changes persist in adulthood after auditory training has ceased" (Skoe, E. & N. Kraus. 2012. A little goes a long way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32(34):11507–11510).
3) Studies have shown that young children who take keyboard lessons have greater abstract reasoning abilities than their peers, and that these abilities improve over time with sustained training in music (Rauscher, F.H. , & Zupan, M., "Classroom keyboard instruction improves kindergarten children's spatial-temporal performance: A field experiment" Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15 , 215-228.2000).
4) Children with learning disabilities or dyslexia who tend to lose focus with more noise could benefit greatly from music lessons (Arete Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Arete Music Academy. Accessed July 17, 2014).
5) 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 (National Association for Music Education. "The Benefits of the Study of Music." National Association for Music Education. Accessed July 17, 2014).
6) 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 (Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior at McMaster University, 2006).
1) Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education (Arte Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Statistical-Benefits-Of-Music-In-Education. Accessed July 17, 2014).
2) Music education supports better study habits and self-esteem (Arts Education Partnership, 2011).
3) Hispanic and African-American parents generally feel music provides more benefits to children than other parents do. Like their urban counterparts, however, they feel they’re being shortchanged in a number of ways—though they’re taking steps to overcome these deficits that could model solutions for other groups (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
4) Majorities of both parents and teachers see a myriad of social-emotional, academic, 21st century skill, community, and physical and health benefits from music education—especially social-emotional benefits (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
5) Majorities of both parents and teachers are aware of research on the effects of music on the developing brain, and have personally experienced the benefits of music education on their own children or students (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
"One of the biggest kicks is to see a child come into the music program as an introvert and leave as a student leader. That's a tremendous process." - Dick Zentner, 2013 Patrick John Hughes Parent/Booster Award Recipient
“We have this holistic opportunity to teach children the benefits of direct participatory music education.” - Linda Edelstein, Milwaukee youth symphony orchestra
“At this time when you are making critical and far-reaching budget and program decisions…I write to bring to your attention the importance of the arts as a core academic subject and part of a complete education for all students. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act defines the arts as a core subject, and the arts play a significant role in children’s development and learning process. The arts can help students become tenacious, team-oriented problem solvers who are confident and able to think creatively.” - Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, Letter to Schools and Community Leaders, 2009
"Early sustained music learning is actually the frame upon which education itself can be built for low-income kids." - Margaret Martin, founder, Harmony Project, quoted in PBS NEWS HOUR. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education-jan-june14-harmony_01-04
"In science I had very low grades and then once I started learning about music and being able to practice and concentrating, my science grades have gone higher and so have my other grade in other subjects. I would concentrate in my music and it was something to be focused on and not be bothered by anyone. I was using that on my homework and on any type of class work also. Science is now one of my best subjects." - Vianey Calixto, student and Harmony Project Participant quoted in PBS NEWS HOUR. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education-jan-june14-harmony_01-04
"While more affluent students do better in school than children from lower income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset this academic gap." - Dr. Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory quoted in "Musical training 'can improve language and reading" http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28703013
"Music is no cure-all, nor is it likely to turn your child into a Nobel Prize winner. But there is compelling evidence that it can boost children’s academic performance and help fix some of our schools’ most intractable problems." - Joanne Lipman, "A Musical Fix for American Schools," The Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2014
"A kid with a music degree isn’t limited to a performance or teaching career. Musicians are everywhere. We are project managers, marketers, Finance folks, IT people and engineers. In my twenty-some years as a corporate HR person, I was always impressed by the way musical people excelled at logic and non-linear thinking, both." - Liz Ryan, "Let the kids study music, already!" Forbes, September 3, 2014