Researchers Find Link Between Music, Academic Performance
by Emily Luxen
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Researchers have found a link between music and academic performance in Metro Nashville Public Schools, and supporters of music programs are cheering.
An independent study done by researchers at the University of Kansas looked at four years worth of student data. The study found Metro students involved in music programs outperformed their peers in several categories.
"There is something about music that brings a whole new dimension for these kids," said Laurie Schell, Director of the Music Makes Us Program. "It brings out the best in them."
The study found students who participated in music programs had a higher grade point average, graduation rate, ACT scores, attendance, and lower incidents of discipline problems.
"I don't think you have a well-rounded person unless they are exposed to the arts," said Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. "Whether it be visual or musical or other types, everything makes a difference."
The Music Makes Us program is one way Metro Nashville Public Schools is working to ensure all students get a musical education. The program aims to strengthen traditional school music opportunities while adding contemporary curriculum.
"Nashville should be known for its music programs," said Mayor Karl Dean. "This is a great program. Our schools are doing a good job implementing them, and I'm anxious to continue to support it."
Schell hopes the results of the new study mean music will continue to be a priority in Metro Nashville Public Schools.
"We are on the right track," said Schell. "We've made investments in music education, and it's worth it."
Next, leaders in Metro Schools will be focusing on implementing the recommendations made in the report, which include expanding programs, and working to maintain student retention and existing programs.
Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood are busy getting ready for next week's Project Expo and had the opportunity to show it off some of their projects to Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.