Specialized artistic education in music: What is the influence on academic achievement, controlling for socioeconomic status and intelligence?

The relationship between learning music and academic achievement has been discussed in numerous contexts. According to the literature, students involved in learning music obtain higher results in several school subjects. This study intends to examine the influence of musical training on the academic performance of pupils in schools providing specialized artistic education, controlling for socioeconomic status and intelligence. We analyzed the composite academic achievement score and the average marks in nine school subjects in the 7th grade. The sample is composed of 62 pupils who were enrolled in Specialized artistic education in music and 50 pupils following General basic education, in schools in Portugal. Results indicated higher academic achievement in students following Specialized artistic education in music regarding seven of nine school subjects: Portuguese, English, History, Natural Sciences, Physics and Chemistry, Geography, and Visual Arts, but not in Mathematics or Sports. Musical training predicts significantly academic achievement when socioeconomic status and intelligence remain constant. Our results were discussed as contributions to corroboration of the thesis that musical training is associated with higher academic proficiency. It is therefore hoped this study may draw attention to the evidence that participation in music can improve performance in various school subjects.

Keywords: specialized artistic education in music, general basic education, academic achievement, school marks, socioeconomic status, intelligence

L. S. M. Mónico, C. Santos-Luiz

Year 2014
Type Conference Proceeding
Publication SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, Book 1, Vol. 3
Pages 817-824
ISBN / ISSN ISBN: 978-619-7105-24-7 | ISSN: 2367-5659
Language English