Young adults may not even know it yet, but guitar lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons, or really any musical training will help to prepare them for their careers. Smart parents and teens realize that even if they have no intention of becoming professional musicians, music lessons will increase cognitive performance in school and the workplace. With all the scientific proof, it’s really a no-brainer these days, lessons are worth the money and practicing is worth the effort.
Creativity, social skills, pattern recognition, and mathematics performance are all scientifically proven to increase with music and singing lessons, (with regular practice of course). Playing music or singing is also a healthy way for teenagers to relax.
There are so many cognitive benefits of music lessons for teens, it’s hard to fathom. If you’d like to be blown away, check out the list of quotes I gathered and listed below.
Preparation for college
Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. (Source: Thomas, L., "Case For Music In The Schools," Phi Delta Kappa, 1994.)
The foremost technical designers and engineers in Silicon Valley are almost all practicing musicians. (Dickinson, D., Music and The Mind, 1993.)
A study examined the influence of music education on nonmusical abilities, the effects of music lessons on academic performance, and cognitive abilities. The study revealed that students who participated in music lessons showed statistically higher intelligence quotients. (Source: Glenn Schellenberg, Music Lessons Enhance IQ, Psychological Science, Vol. 15, No. 8, 2004.)
A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas. (Source: Burton, J., Horowitz, R., Abeles, H. Champions of Change, Arts Education Partnership, 1999.)
Students indicate that arts participation motivates them to stay in school, and that the arts create a supportive environment that promotes constructive acceptance of criticism and one in which it is safe to take risks. (Source: Barry, N., Taylor, K. and K. Walls Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, AEP, 2002.)
In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS:88, National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show "significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12." This observation holds regardless of students' socio-economic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time. (Catterall, James S., Richard Chapleau, and John Iwanaga. "Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: General Involvement and Intensive Involvement in Music and Theater Arts." Los Angeles, CA: The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999.)
* 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.
* According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as "disruptive" (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as "disruptive." Based on data from the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study), second follow-up, 1992.
* Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non- participants receiving those grades. -NELS:88 First Follow-up, 1990, National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC
* Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted. As reported in "The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994
* A study of 811 high school students indicated that the proportion of minority students with a music teacher role-model was significantly larger than for any other discipline. 36% of these students identified music teachers as their role models, as opposed to 28% English teachers, 11% elementary teachers, 7% physical education/sports teachers, 1% principals. -D.L. Hamann and L.M. Walker, "Music teachers as role models for African-American students," Journal of Research in Music Education, 41, 1993
Preparation for the workplace
* "Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective." -Bill Clinton, former President, United States of America
* "During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought to me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children." -H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General, U.S. Army, retired
* "Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." -Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America
* "Music making makes the elderly healthier.... There were significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and loneliness following keyboard lessons. These are factors that are critical in coping with stress, stimulating the immune system, and in improved health. Results also show significant increases in human growth hormones following the same group keyboard lessons. (Human growth hormone is implicated in aches and pains.)" -Dr. Frederick Tims, reported in AMC Music News, June 2, 1999
* "The nation's top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century." "The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education." -Business Week, October 1996.
Laundry List of Benefits of Music Lessons on Teens