There's more good news about the benefits of music education.
A multi-decade study of more than 31,000 Florida middle school students found that those who took elective music classes - or studied the arts in another form - earned much higher grade point averages and higher scores on standardized reading and math tests.
For years, researchers have wondered if music makes kids smarter or if smarter kids just happen to opt for music education more often. According to an article on the Pacific Standard website, the authors of this study followed “a large group of low-income students from kindergarten through eighth grade. That allowed the researchers to create a baseline level of each youngster's academic accomplishments, and determine if arts classes boosted their achievement level.”
And it turns out they did!
The research found that students exposed to music and other arts-related classes not only achieved higher grades, but were less likely to be suspended from school, compared to kids who were not active in music or another art.
The study's authors concluded that "we need to protect and enhance" access to arts education because of its many benefits, including a positive impact on brain development, creativity and teamwork skills.
(Inspired by an article at Pacific Standard.)