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Music Advocacy’s Top Ten for Everyone
1. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania School District analyzed its 1997 dropout rate in terms of students’ musical experience. Students with no ensemble performance experience had a dropout rate of 7.4 percent. Students with one to two years of ensemble experience had a dropout rate of 1 percent, and those with three or more years of performance experience had a dropout rate of 0.0 percent.
Eleanor Chute, “Music and Art Lessons Do More Than Complement Three R’s,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
April 13, 1998.
2. Two research projects have found that music training - specifically piano instruction - can dramatically enhance children’s spatial-temporal reasoning skills, the skills crucial for greater success in subjects like math and science.
Shaw, Grazianow, and Peterson, Neurological Research, March 1999.
3. School leaders affirm that the single most critical factor in sustaining arts education in their schools is the active involvement of influential segments of the community. These community members help shape and implement the policies and programs of the district.
- Gaining the Arts Advantage, The President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, 1999.
4. Students with band and orchestra experience attend college at a rate twice the national average.
- Bands Across the USA.
5. Music students out-perform non-music on achievement tests in reading and math. Skills such as reading, anticipating, memory, listening, forecasting, recall, and concentration are developed in musical performance, and these skills are valuable to students in math, reading, and science.
- B. Friedman, “An Evaluation of the Achievement in Reading and Arithmetic of Pupils in Elementary
School Instrumental Music Classes,” Dissertation Abstracts International.
6. One in three of today’s school-aged children will hold an arts-related job at some time in his or her career.
- Education Commission on the States.
7. The College Board, in a publication about college admissions, states, “preparation in the arts will be valuable to college entrants whatever their intended field of study.”
- Academic Preparation for College: What Students Need To Know and Be Able To Do, The College
8. Music therapists working with Alzheimer’s patients have found that rhythmic interaction or listening to music resulted in decreased agitation, increased focus and concentration, enhanced ability to respond verbally and behaviorally, elimination of demented speech, improved ability to respond to questions, and better social interaction.
- Carol Prickett and Randall Moore, “The Use of Music to Aid Memory of Alzheimer’s Patients,” Journal
of Music Therapy, 1991.
9. Medical researchers have reported that subjects lowered bother their systolic and diastolic blood pressure as much as five points (mm/Hg) and reduced heart rates by four to five beats per minute following music listening sessions. People with high blood pressure can help keep their blood pressure down by listening to tapes of relaxing low frequency music in the morning and evening.
- Tony Wigram, “The Psychological and Physiological Effects of Low Frequency Sound and Music,” Music
Therapy Perspectives, 1995.
10. A 1997 Gallup Survey on Americans’ attitudes toward music revealed that 89% of respondents believe music helps a child’s overall development, and 93% believe that music is part of a well-rounded education.
- Americans’ Attitudes Toward Music, The Gallup Organization, 1997.
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