Dr. Hind Louali: The Connection Between Music and Academics

Dr. Hind Louali, French School of Austin – Ecole Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s head, says that there were studies that compared the school grades of students who can play musical instruments to those who had little-to-no musical background.
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The results were fascinating.

The former group had much higher average grades at school than children who were not involved in music at all. In addition, the children in the music group had significantly higher grades on average in all of their subjects, with the exception of sports.

When researchers considered factors that are known to have an impact on achievement, factors such as gender or grade level or even handicraft participation and parent income, music was still a significant predictor of average grades.

However, Dr. Hind Louali of French School of Austin – Ecole Jean-Jacques Rousseau mentions that grade level, as well as parent income, were found to have higher correlations toward student achievement compared to music participation. Although combined, music participation, grade level, and parent income led to 43% of the variance or the size of the difference between groups. It was with regard to grades between students.

That said, researchers did not find a significant difference between music and non-music third-grade students when students were beginning musical training. On the other hand, at all other grade levels, the students who participated in music got higher average grades than their non-music classmates.

According to Dr. Hind Louali, this shows us that the duration of musical training has a more pronounced effect on student achievement, and the longer students practice or play music, the stronger the impact will be on their grades in school.

These results also suggest that participation in music has a significant correlation with higher academic performance for children in elementary school. It is found to be true even when other factors known to influence academic performance are considered.

Moreover, there was no difference seen between students participating in music and students who were not participating in music in third grade, while a difference was seen from fourth grade onward. Dr. Hind Louali, head of French School of Austin – Ecole Jean-Jacques Rousseau explains that this finding may suggest greater benefit from sustained and long-term music involvement.

Differences between students who practice and play music and those who do not are seen across subjects. It suggests a correlation between music and general cognitive performance. Dr. Hind Louali adds that this is an exciting emerging body of research mainly because it aims to identify and explain the many ways in which music is processed in the brain and the effects of this processing. It also explores how those processes relate to academic learning.

For more articles on education, music, art, and more from Dr. Hind Louali, visit this blog.

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