Compelling evidence for benefits of music education - new report

'Compelling evidence' for the benefits of music education are revealed in a new research review by the internationally renowned academic, Professor Susan Hallam MBE, of the Institute of Education at London University

Commissioned by the Music Education Council (MEC) and published by the International Music Education Research Centre (iMerc), The Power of Music - a research synthesis of the impact of actively making music on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people brings together the vast amount of research evidence that has built up over recent years.

It provides the basis for the argument that every child and young person should have access to quality music making opportunities and supports calls for schools to ensure that all pupils receive a thorough, broad and high quality music education.

Professor Susan Hallam said:

'The research shows there is compelling evidence for the benefits of music education on a wide range of skills including: listening skills which support the development of language skills, awareness of phonics and enhanced literacy; spatial reasoning which supports the development of some mathematical skills; and, where musical activities involve working in groups, a wide range of personal and social skills which also serve to enhance overall academic attainment even when measures of intelligence are taken into account.

'The benefits are greatest when musical activities start early and continue over a long period of time. The teaching of music must also be of high quality for the benefits to emerge. If the quality is poor then the benefits will not be evident.'

Angela Ruggles, General Manager of MEC, said:

'This important publication is a cornerstone of MEC's advocacy work. It provides strong arguments that justify the inclusion of music in the education of every child and young person. MEC commissioned the updating of Professor Hallam's earlier research synthesis as part of its drive to persuade school leaders of the importance of a strong music presence in their schools.'

The executive summary of the report can be viewed on musiceducationuk here.