Why music education is important in public schools

We all know this — but what do we do about it?

This article is a call to action. I’m asking you to contemplate the information I present and talk to your local school district about getting more music to more children in more places.

Music education contributes largely to the overall success of the student in both; life and academia. Music engages both sides of the brain in a way that will change the life of the child forever. 

At the end of the day, what we want is what we select to focus on. Now, it’s time for us to focus on what is best for the next generation.

The choice is yours…

But, while you are contemplating, I will showcase some cold hard facts regarding the benefits of music education in schools.

Recent studies have indicated that adolescent music education produces greater observable physical development in the brain,[2] and an average of 27% higher math scores,[3] 57 points higher SAT scores[4] and a 46% increase in IQ scores.[5] In addition to these documented benefits on intelligence, music education has been shown enhance learning in all other subject areas by improving their study skills, receptiveness to instruction, social and emotional development. Students that participate in school band or orchestra also experience the lowest rate of gang activity and substance abuse. Most importantly, the cognitive and behavioral advantages of music education are shown to affect all students, regardless of their ethnicity, “at-risk” status, or socio-economic background.[6]

“We believe the skills the arts teach -creative thinking, problem-solving, risk-taking, teamwork and communications – are precisely the tools the workforce of tomorrow will need. If we don’t encourage students to master these skills through quality arts instruction today, how can we ever expect them to succeed in their highly competitive business careers tomorrow?”

-Richard Gurin, Chief Executive Officer, Binney and Smith, maker of Crayola crayons


Music requires study skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills and as these are learnt and developed they expand the student’s abilities in other academic areas and help them become better students. – Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. — College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.

The evidence is resounding and unavoidable. How much longer shall we stand by and allow our future to slip through our fingers?

The ball is in our court, we have the choice. We must take action today!

Will you make the choice and take the action today that will change your life and the life of our children forever?

If so, here are some action steps you can take TODAY

Action Steps

  1. Print this article.
  2. Ask for a personal “sit-down” meeting with a local educational authority.
  3. Hand deliver this article — in combination with personal research.
  4. Make it your overwhelming commitment to keep on the heels of local educational authorities until they MUST change the level of music education.


Live your inspiration deliberately! 

With Deep Appreciation,



Focused posts Facebook | Everything in-between @mcgregor_thomas | Me on video Youtube | Where all the magical stuff happens http://www.THOMASMCGREGOR.com

[1] Brian Foster, “Einstein and his Love of Music,” Physics World (Jan. 2005), .
[2] G. Schlaug, L. Jancke, Y. Huang and H. Steinmetz, “In vivo morphometry of interhem ispheric assymetry and connectivity in musicians,” Proceedings of the 3rd international conference for music perception and cognition (Liege, Belgium, 1994), 417-418.
[3] Amy Graziano, Matthew Peterson and Gordon Shaw, “Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training,” Neurological Research 21 (March 1999).
[4] College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. The College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, NJ, 2001.
[5] Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994.
[6] “Benefits of Music Education,” MENC: The National Association for Music Education, 2002.

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