Fascinating research: “Children’s brains show evidence of faster development when they are learning to play an instrument. And studies comparing the brains of adult musicians and non-musicians find the most pronounced enhancements in brain structure in those who began their music training early in childhood.”

Using Music to Close the Academic GapSeveral times a week, a group of at-risk youth in Los Angeles reports to makeshift music rooms at Alexandria Elementary School near Koreatown for lessons in violin or cello or bass-and to Saturday ensemble programs where they learn to play with bands and orchestras. As the students study their instruments, researchers study the students’ brains.

Embedly Powered

Can Music Help Low-Income Students Close the Academic Gap? 16 October,2013Tina Barseghian

  • Lance Wilkinson

    Ms. Barseghian,
    Hello, my name is Lance Wilkinson. I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. This research is immensely fascinating and a pleasure to hear. As a musician myself, I am so happy to see research indicates positive aspects of musical education. This is an amazing feat because fine arts are often at risk of being cut in schools.
    It is amazing to see the educational system reaching out to at-risk students with music. Thanks for sharing!
    Lance Wilkinson

  • Gramma Susie

    As a teacher and then later the principal of an alternative school for at-risk students with behavioral problems, I agree that music — yes, classical — have a dramatic effect on students. When a classroom became a little disruptive, the students would calm down as soon as the teacher began playing classical music quietly in the room. Those same students concentrated more on their work and less on distractions.

    • deserteacher

      I had the precise experience over the years. And the students learn to love it have prefereces, too. (Beethoven was always a favorite, Mozart a close second.) I believe the research from the last many decades is true–classical music has positive results as the soundtrack of you classroom.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor