Non-musical benefits of school-based music education and training

Anneliese Gill, Nikki Sue Rickard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Other

1 Citation (Scopus)


Music training has been associated with a range of academic, cognitive and psychosocial benefits. These non-music benefits are often used to justify the importance of maintaining music education within a 'crowded' school curriculum. However, most of this type of research into music education has focussed on extra curriculum music training which typically involves expensive, one-on-one tuition rather than examining the effects of classroom-based group music that would normally occur within the school curriculum. Consequently it is unclear whether a school-based approach to music education can impact student learning in the same way. A critical review of the limited research into school- or class-based music training finds a number of methodological and design limitations and thus minimal experimental evidence to support the impact of school-based music training on student learning outcomes. However, there are some indications that school-based music may benefit the development of literacy, numeracy and verbal memory skills and may be a promising intervention for 'at risk' students. This highlights the need for more rigorous empirical research in this area, especially at the secondary school level, in order to reliably inform key educational decisions regarding the role of music education within schools.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLifelong Engagement with Music: Benefits for Mental Health and Well-Being
EditorsNikki S Rickard, Katrina McFerran
Place of PublicationHauppauge NY United States
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781611222401
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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