The value of music
There is considerable evidence throughout the world, that studying music and in particular, learning to play instruments has a strong correlation to better academic performance throughout the child’s education. In a recent study examining the relationship between participation in school music programs and standardised test scores, it showed that students in high-quality programs scored higher in both English and mathematics than their counterparts who did not have high-quality instruction (Examination of Relationships between Participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results Johnson, 2006). The researchers also found that students in exceptional music programs as well as low-quality instrumental programs still performed better in English and mathematics than those students receiving no music classes.
In the first major study to compare data from four longitudinal studies (The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Four Longitudinal Studies; James Catterall, 2012), it was found that teenagers and young adults of low socioeconomic status who have a history of in-depth arts involvement show better academic outcomes than do low socioeconomic status youth with less arts involvement. These students have higher test scores in science, writing and mathematics, as well as higher overall grade point averages than students who lacked arts experiences. Better grade point averages were also observed among high socioeconomic status students – so this is a universal benefit, not restricted to a particular socioeconomic status.
Research and Symphony For Life Foundation
While there is considerable in-depth and longitudinal study and research taking place across the world in music education, there has been relatively little focused specifically on programs such as Symphony For Life. We consider the role of research and feedback to be of paramount importance to the Symphony For Life Foundation. We need this for several reasons:
We will open each of the programs and the central program administration to rigorous research and monitoring scrutiny to allow a complete understanding and transparency to our stakeholders, and allow us to truthfully and ethically record and represent the effects and progress to the community, sponsors, donors and to government granters and authorities.
The Foundation's programs will be open to independent, quality and qualified researchers from our universities and music schools to insure the impartiality and balance of information. Such individuals and agencies will have to agree to impart feedback information to the Foundation so that it can properly represent the performance and progress of the programs to all our stakeholders, and allow us to adjust the programs as required.
Three different areas of research are of interest to the Foundation:
*Interested research groups: Please contact us here if you wish to discuss this further, or wish to register for access to our programs.
Research of Other Similar Programs Overseas
There is a wealth of research information available on similar programs in other countries. For further information please click here.