Does Music Really Help Students Increase Test Scores?

That music would improve test scores is not a surprising conclusion when taking into account that music is very mathematical. Plato considered harmony to be a branch of physics and other early philosophers felt that the mathematical laws of music were fundamental to our well-being. Musical scales are often expressed in terms of ratios and the simple act of counting and understanding rhythm involves periodicity, a concept that is fundamental in understanding physics. Students who take music in school are exposed to the structure of mathematics in a very fun way.

But the benefits of music are more than mathematical. Concentrating on a piece of music requires focus and discipline, skills that are not taught in any other classroom. Students that fail to pay attention in band or choir may find themselves unexpectedly soloing if they have not been alert to what is going on around them. The skill of paying attention and focusing for extended periods is invaluable when the student is later taking tests or doing other tasks that require concentration and discipline.



Musicians in a group setting learn to listen and connect with others while continuing to focus on their individual piece. Those in music school quickly acquire an understanding of their importance to the group as a whole. Even a soloist must learn to work in a group and accept that quality requires teamwork and cohesion.

The benefits of music are taken further when students perform in front of an audience. Not only does performing teach confidence and poise, it also provides good feedback in the form of applause and praise. Completing a successful performance leaves the student with a sense of accomplishment and a willingness to continue. Additionally, to be able to perform a student needed to acquire the self-discipline to practice and learn the piece. See our recommended music school in Malaysia.



Teaching intangibles such as self-discipline and poise are very difficult, but expecting them within a specified setting are not. Students who grasp the idea the “practice makes perfect” find themselves applying it to all aspects of their lives including homework for other subjects. Taking the time and energy to learn something well becomes a habit as opposed to a struggle.

There may be other, less easily defined benefits as well. Music affects mood. We listen to music to lift our spirits or wallow in sorrow. The hour a student spends in music class may be enough to help him shake off a dismal day or calm him for a difficult task ahead. Music connects us at the most basic level of emotion, which may be enough to counter the feeling of being alone that many young people have.



Taken together, all of these things contribute to a student’s knowledge, understanding, confidence and well-being. These are attributes that make person want to do better in all aspects of life, including test scores.

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