More Music, less Academic

High school students who attend music courses score significantly better on math and science and English tests than their non-musical classmates, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association. Source
Interpreting the Overall Association Between Music Participation and Academic Achievement
Music engagement and opportunity cost. Findings demon-strated that public secondary school students who took school music courses, on average, outperformed their peers who took no school music courses, in standardized exams on English, mathematics, and science. Also, higher levels of school music course engagement corresponded to higher levels of academic achievement. These findings contradict notions of an opportunity cost conferred by taking music courses, which is commonly communicated in school policy debates (Fiske, 1999; Gouzouasis, 2014; Scripp, 2002)—purporting that more time spent on music and less time spent on “basic academic courses” (e.g., math, science, English) undermines achievement in those courses. (p.13)
Thus, the present study findings—in conjunction with prior evidence—suggest music participation in childhood may relate to cognitive competencies more generally rather than pertaining to any one specific school subject. Such a pattern coheres with theory suggesting music impacts academic achieve- ment through enhancing broad competencies, such as executive functions (Slevc et al., 2016), including working memory, self- regulation, and information processing, that are integral to various academic subjects. (p.14)
The positive associations between school music participation and exam grades remained after consideration of SES, earlier achievement, and other potential demographic confounders (sex, cultural/ language background)—suggesting associations between music and academic achievement were not solely an artifact of a certain demographic of students selecting school music courses. (p.14)
Guhn, M., Emerson, S. D., & Gouzouasis, P. (2019, June 24). A Population-Level Analysis of Associations Between School Music Participation and Academic Achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. (link)

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