music training, music education, academic achievement


Music education has been a key part of human culture for thousands of years (Cartwright, 2013). As children often begin to receive musical education during grade school, many researchers have begun to investigate whether musical training may benefit other areas of academics. This literature review evaluates the overall effectiveness of musical training on academic performance for three different age groups: pre- and elementary school children under 12 years old; middle and high school-age adolescents between 12 and 18 years old; and college and university students over 18 years old. Musical training here includes instrumental and vocal training, as well as instruction in musical theory. Various studies indicated that children and adolescents who received music training had higher academic achievement (Wetter, Koerner, & Schwaninger, 2009). In addition, college-age adults who had received music training in college exhibited better memory, which in turn can bring about better academic achievement (George & Koch, 2011). This review provides evidence for the support of music education programs in schools and in the private setting in order to help children reach higher levels of academic success.