One year ago Joanne Lipman wrote a piece for the New York Times, “Is Music the Key to Success?” In this piece she interviewed numerous famous professionals who all attribute their success to musical training. Recently, she authored a follow-up for the WSJ entitled “A Musical Fix for American Schools.” In this article, Ms. Lipman shares the latest qualitative research that finally lays to rest the “chicken or the egg” discussion surrounding the correlation between music training and success. Does music training create successful students, or does music training just naturally appeal to successful students? “A Musical Fix…” shares research proving that music training:

  • Increases I.Q. in 90% of randomly selected first graders
  • Reduces the academic gap between rich and poor districts
  • Improves key academic skills (cognitive skills, grades, conscientiousness and ambition) more than other athletic and artistic activities.
  • Identifies children likely to struggle with literacy
  • Causes brain growth in fine motor skills, hearing, and the corpus callosum – which connects the right and left sides of the brain.

Ms. Lipman was the keynote speaker at the recent NAfME National Convention where she shared the outpouring of support from Fortune 500 CEO’s, politicians, judges, and many successful professionals who, like herself, received a strong music education and are reaping the benefits for their entire lives.  She writes in closing:

“a K-12 school music program in a large suburban district cost $187 per student a year, or just 1.6% of the total education budget. That seems a reasonable price to pay for fixing some of the thorniest and most expensive problems facing American education. Music programs shouldn’t have to sing for their supper.”

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