Music students are a ‘year ahead’ of their classmates as lessons ‘improve all-round learning’

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A new report suggests that rather than pupils studying more to improve their maths, science and English their time would be better spent in music classes. Skills learned in music lessons, the researchers argued, enhance the student’s overall education. This article by iNews explores how music students are the equivalent of an academic year ‘better in maths, science and English than their non-musical classmates’…

Here is the original article, featured in iNews

Music students are the equivalent of an academic year better in maths, science and English than their non-musical classmates, according to a study of 112,000 students.

The Canadian research of school records in British Columbia found that the effects were greater for pupils who played an instrument at a high level compared with those who studied vocal music.

Around 13 per cent of the students had participated in at least one music course at grade 10, 11 or 12 (the equivalent of 15-18 years old).

Qualifying courses included concert bands; conservatory piano; orchestra; jazz bands; concert choirs and vocal jazz.

“On average, the children who learned to play a musical instrument for many years, and were now playing in high school band and orchestra, were the equivalent of about one academic year ahead of their peers with regard to their English, mathematics and science skills, as measured by their exam grades,” said Dr Peter Gouzouasis, of the University of British Columbia, one of the authors of the paper, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

The report suggested that rather than pupils studying more to improve their maths, science and English their time would be better spent in music classes.

Skills learned in music lessons, the researchers argued, enhanced the student’s overall education.

“Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding,” said Dr Gouzouasis.

“A student has to learn to read music notation; develop eye-hand-mind coordination; develop keen listening skills; develop team skills and develop discipline to practise. All those learning experiences play a role in enhancing children’s cognitive capacities and their self-efficacy.

“Often, resources for music education are cut… the argument has frequently been that we need all our money to focus on maths, science and English.

“The irony is that music education may be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools.”

Source: inews.co.uk/news/education/music-lessons-improve-all-round-education-study/