The impact of music on childhood and adolescent achievement
Southgate, D.E. & Roscigno, V.J. (2009). The impact of music on childhood and adolescent achievement. Social Science Quarterly, 90(1): 4-21.
This large-scale, longitudinal study examines the relationship of music involvement to math and reading achievement for 4376 children and 7781 adolescents in public and private schools in the U.S. In their analyses, the researchers controlled for variables of social status, race/ethnicity, gender, and prior achievement in order to more precisely isolate the relationship between in-school, out-of-school, and parent-related music participation and academic outcomes. The authors found that socio-economic status predicted stratification of achievement, which was somewhat mediated by rates of music participation. They also found a general positive relationship between music involvement and math and reading achievement.
In a two-stage analysis, the researchers first explored participation in music inside and outside school in relation to variables of socio-economic status, race/ethnicity and gender. They found that variation in socio-economic status was not a significant factor in this analysis for children, but that it was a factor for adolescents. They also found that black, Asian, and Hispanic children and adolescents were comparatively less involved in music than their white peers and that there were no significant gender differences in music participation. Next, the researchers examined whether music participation was related to math and reading achievement. Even after controlling for past achievement, they found that music was positively associated with math and reading achievement. In-school music participation predicted reading achievement for both children and adolescents. Out-of-school music participation predicted the same for adolescents. Furthermore, in-school and parent-related participation predicted math achievement for children.