Predictive links between music education and achievement in other school subjects

In a study by Gouzouasis, P., Guhn, M., & Kishor, N. (2007), the researchers found a predictive relationship between achievement and participation in music and achievement in core school academic subjects. These results were found to be consistent across three Year 12 cohorts included in the research. 

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The core subjects in this study were Mathematics, English and Science (Biology). In each of the three cohort investigations, all music students demonstrated positive correlations for achievement in these core academic subject areas. The research reasoned that the higher academic achievement was related to the complex cognitive skills acquired through the process of learning a musical instrument and involvement in music classes and ensembles.

In addition, the researchers suggest that the development of social and emotional skills related to music classroom and ensemble activities which involves discipline, collaboration, patience, persistence, and motivation, contributes significantly to achievement in other school subject areas.

This research support prior research which finds that studying music does not hamper achievement in other domains, with correlations between music and academic achievement (Adderley et al, 2003; Catterall, 1998).

For music educators, music advocacy can include the message that involvement music activities are predictive of greater overall general academic achievement than no involvement in music activities.

Gouzouasis, P., Guhn, M., & Kishor, N. (2007). The predictive relationship between achievement and participation in music and achievement in core Grade 12 academic subjects. Music Education Research, 9(1), 81-92.

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