The impact of specialised music education in academic performance

The aim of the present work was to contribute to the understanding of the effect of learning music on academic achievement. According to the literature, there is at least, one general agreement: students who are submitted to musical training obtain higher scores in several measures of academic achievement.

A standardized Scale of Evaluation of the Methods of Study (Escala de Avaliação dos Métodos de Estudo – Escala AME; Vasconcelos; Almeida, 2003) as well as the marks achieved by two groups of students at the end of the school year of 2007/2008, provided the basis of the quantitative analysis. One group was on the 7th grade of the specialized music learning system (n=83) whereas the other enrolled on the 7th grade of the regular learning system (n=125). Each group had students from schools of the north, centre and south of Portugal.

Results indicated significant differences in academic achievement between the students of specialized music learning system and of the regular learning system. These results were observed in five out of the seven courses of the 7th grade national curriculum. Additionally, significant differences between the two groups were observed on the subscales of “Motivation” and “Causal Attribution” of the Escala AME (Vasconcelos; Almeida, 2003). Results also showed that there were not significant differences between the two groups on the “Self-efficacy” subscale of the same Scale.

It was possible to infer that the students submitted to specialized music teaching obtained higher academic achievement. Then, it was attempted to create a model that establishes associations between the requirements of the musical activity and the academic achievement of the students who enroll on the specialized music learning system.

Year 2009
Type Book Chapter
Publication Investigación en Educación y Derechos Humanos
Pages 135-137
Publisher Center for Intercultural Music Arts
Local Coimbra
Ed/Org Fernando Ramos
ISBN / ISSN 978-989-95257-8-8
Language Portuguese