Peter Gouzouasis and Martin Guhn: Music engagement, achievement, predicts higher math, science and English grades


What does maturing mean after elementary school? Here’s one thing it shouldn’t mean: dropping music at school.

My colleagues and I at the University of B.C. studied over 110,000 public school students. We learned that students involved in extended music engagement (between Grades 8 and 12) do one full year better academically than non-music peers, particularly when engaged in instrumental music sustained over years of schooling. Also, music achievement predicts academic achievement in math, science and English.

Music matters for its own sake, but also because, as our study shows, music engagement sustained from childhood into adolescence – particularly instrumental music that begins in elementary school – is significantly related to better high school achievement.