Justification to Bring Back the Music: It Increases IQ Scores

This from @jshe and @WeAreTeachers on Twitter:

They linked to a UK study by Janice on the Music Teacher's Blog that had the following findings from Professor Susan Halem, University of London's research:

  • “Students who learned music over time, increased their general IQ by 7 points, while drama subjects only increased their IQ by 4.3points.
  • Playing an instrument improves general behaviour because it requires a students to trust, respect and compromise with others
  • Learning a musical instrument improves behavior, memory and intelligence
  • Musically trained students retain up to a fifth more information”

 I've always heard that there was a correlation between math and music — that somehow math “primed the neural pathways” that music also passes along – however, in a country (the US) seemingly starved for music education – it looks like that perhaps by removing the extra curriculars, not only have we taken some of the joy out of school – we may have also inadvertently hurt the test scores we are trying so desperately to raise.

Bring back the music.

Of course, there is always the question of correlation or causation, however, this research certainly requires a closer look.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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5 comments

Angela Lee September 16, 2009 - 9:48 am

I believe Music is always important, children (and adults) learn in different ways. We should be catering for as many of those learners as we can.

I’m so grateful that our school has a specialist music teacher as I would not be able to deliver the same quallity of program that she does. I haven’t tracked scores/grades to see improvement but I do know it helps some children with their understanding in other areas of the curriculum that they wouldn’t have otherwise had if the music teacher was not available.

GilMattos September 16, 2009 - 2:57 pm

I could not agree more about the power of music and I’ve blogged about it recently at http://gilmarmattos.posterous.com. I’d also like to share Barbra Streisand’s opinion about music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVzl01bBl74 . In one of her CDs she also says that “music is the connective tissue among souls”.

music educator from Oregon October 30, 2009 - 7:01 pm

You can find all kinds of “data” for supporting music programs in your school on the MENC website (Music Educator’s National Conference): http://www.menc.org .

Brad Fallon March 9, 2011 - 5:52 pm

What is mental retardation (MR) and do IQ scores help to clarify potential performance of a person who has bee?

coolcatteacher March 22, 2011 - 12:11 am

Not sure about your question.

Comments are closed.

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