Music Education A Positive Factor


Jeane Akin, California State University

Classroom teachers observe that when music is added to a lesson, students retain more of the lessons than when no music was used.  There is a growing body of work that affirms these observations that support the value of music in the curriculum.

Music education provides opportunity to learn academic skills. CEMREL, Inc., an educational research firm, reports that in 67 specific studies in California, student achievement in reading, writing and math improved when the arts were included in curriculum.

(Milley, Buchen, Okerlund & Mortarotti, 1983). 


Sponsored by The American Psychological Association, a meta-analysis research project (20 studies) concluded a positive effect on cognitive academic variables among elementary school children through relaxation with music.  (Moon, Render & Pendley, 1985)

Music education allows disabled students to achieve significantly.

A three-year Arts in Education project in Washington State revealed a consistent gain of achievement scores when basic academic skills were learned through music.  Music was found to be highly useful in learning perceptual skills and brought a greater interested in language development. Additionally, Music education, performance, and music therapy used to treat disabled students help them develop self confidence (which) leads to other achievements.         (Appel & Goldberg. 1979; Reingold, 1987)

Singing a lesson helps young students to learn. In a study of Dolch Sight Words, the teachers sang the words to Group A students, but not to Group B. The lessons were exactly alike (with the exception of the singing). Group A learned more words than Group B.     (Blackburn 1986)

Music in Reading Instruction: Reading curriculum which includes music (Title 1 reading programs, New York) resulted in dramatic rises in students reading achievement test scores.     (New York City Board of Education, 1990)

Low achieving readers: In a study (of more than 13,000 students and 43 schools) the ESEA Title 1 Evaluation Report for the Wichita Program for Educationally Deprived Children found gains were made in the corrective reading program when music was used in the reading curriculum.

      (New York City Board of Education, 1990)

CDCC Kindergarten Teachers Guide – A Study of Evidence

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