New Studies Support Original Findings That
Music Lessons Help Improve Math Skills
New research continues to show music lessons, especially piano
lessons, can help elementary school students score higher on
math tests.
In a 1999 report, Dr. Gordon Shaw of the University of California,
Irvine studied three groups of second graders. One group received
piano lessons and used a special mathematics computer program.
Another group used the mathematics program and also received
English training. A third group received only standard classroom
After four months of this training, the second-grade students in the
group that received piano lessons and used the math computer
program scored 15 percent to 41 percent higher on tests of ratios
and fractions than the students in the other two groups.
In a 2000 report, Dr. Shaw studied the math test scores of a group
of second graders from inner-city Los Angeles who were given
piano lessons twice a week for a year. Shaw compared the test
scores of this group to the scores of elementary school students in
affluent Orange County who did not receive piano lessons.
The second graders from Los Angeles scored as well as fourth
graders from Orange County. Half of the second graders in the
study scored as well as fifth-grade students in Orange County.
The study of music and improvement in math seem to be closely
connected. These new studies add credibility to the results of 1997
research, when a specific link between music and math was first
Sharon Begley, "Music On the Mind," Newsweek, July 24, 2000.
For Source information, return to Why Music? Links and Info Page

To Music Education Links

Return to Main Menu