Research and resources for parents

Impact of music in schools

In a recent series of articles in Music Education UK magazine, primary and secondary heads told how music had helped with:

  • Attainment – raising aspirations, confidence, self-esteem and motivations and leading to increases in SAT and GCSE results among music-involved pupils
  • Personal/social development – helping with listening skills, team work, leadership skills and peer-based learning
  • Creative thinking – analysis, speculation, evaluation; providing skills and qualities needed for 21st century jobs
  • Inclusion – engaging vulnerable students, providing role models and a sense of direction and purpose for those not engaged in other forms of learning
  • Embedding learning and cross-curricular approaches – eg using rhythm to reinforce maths
  • School culture and marketing of the school – injecting new energy into a school, providing a sense of community and raising or even changing the school’s profile in the community

There’s plenty of research to prove this too:


Also, various pieces of evidence from specific programmes for example:

  • Sing Up Programme evaluation 2007-11 Musical Futures – reports by Ofsted and Susan Hallam/Institude of Education
  • ImagineNation: The case for cultural learning – Cultural Learning Alliance (2011) Key Research Findings: The case for cultural learning “Using only evidence from cohort studies with large sample sizes (12,000+) and research with control groups, the CLA can emphatically say there are instrumental outcomes delivered by cultural learning and these have been grouped into five key research findings.”
  • Reinvesting in arts education – Winning America’s future through creative schools. President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (2011, U.S) Includes longitudinal data on students ie as pupils and beyond school education
  • Champions of Change: the impact of the arts on learning – E Fiske, AEP (1999)

Music education in the United States has been under threat for years and various organisations have developed some great resources for advocating music education:

  • http://advocacy.nafme.org/resources/general-resources/
  • http://childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/index.html
  • www.musicempowersfoundation.org/why-music.html
  • www.musiccountusin.org.au/musicbenefits (an example from Australia)
  • For parents specifically: www.amparents.org

Research collated by Anita Holford of Writing Services.