Music and Cognitive Development


There is an increasing body of research that demonstrates that musical training at an early age, besides its wonderful effects on the human spirit and psyche, and the cultural understanding that it fosters, can have a significant beneficial effect on the cognitive development of children--which will improve the students' learning of mathematics, science, language arts, reading, and indeed-- all subjects.

Below are some links to articles on the Internet, regarding this type of research. Many more can be found, by searching the Internet. If you have any suggestions for other links to include, please let me know.


(Note: The files denoted as (PDF), are in .PDF file format, and require the installation of a PDF reader application or plug-in to read. Most computers come with one pre-installed, but if yours does not, you will have to install one, in order to read those files. They are all free to download and use, for example Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader.)



Music and Cognitive Development in Children





Music Training Changes Brain Networks





Can Music Instruction Affect Children's Cognitive Development?  (PDF)




¿Puede Afectar la Instrucción en la Música el Desarrollo Cognitivo de los Niños?  (PDF)









The Music of Language  (Audio Slide Show)




Speaking in Tones





Chorus Impact Study





Chorus Impact Study--Summary  (PDF)






Chorus Impact Study--Full Report (PDF)









United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 355 (PDF)







 Music Improves Test Scores--Ten Year Study(PDF)






The Learning of Music as a Means to Improve Mathematical Skills (PDF)





Music and Language Proficiency (PDF)





Pitch and Language






Music and Foreign Language Learning (including ESL)






Music Lessons Enhance IQ (PDF)





Just the Facts








Music and Academic Achievement (PDF)










Musical Training Changes Children's Brains





Why Music Is Good for You


Music Training Boosts the Brain






Music Lessons Build Brainpower

(LA Times--April 25,2010)





Effects of Music Training on Brain and Cognitive Development








Musical Training and Cognitive Development of Children






The Effects of Musical Training on Structural Brain Development (PDF)





Listening to and Making Music Facilitates Brain Recovery Processes (PDF)







Musical Training Influences Linguistic Abilities







Mathematical Reasoning and Literacy Skills









Musical Training Affects Brain Development




Musical Training Enhances Brainstem Sensitivity to Speech Sounds




Music Training Linked To Enhanced Verbal Skills




Tuning the Human Auditory System




Enhancement of Intelligence





Musical Practice





Hearing Ability









Benefits of Music Education






Music Lessons Hold the Key







Music Lessons Improve Kid's Brain Development










Can Music Really Improve the Mind?





Music and Cognitive Development





Tales of Music And The Brain






Theory of Multiple Intelligences










Music and Achievement






Music Beats Computers








Injured Congresswoman Recovers Her Speech Through Music



Singing Can Help Repair Brain Damage



Music and Brain Healing-Links



Music and Brain Healing-Projects



Music Shows Potential in Stroke Rehabilitation



How an Appreciation for the Arts May Boost Stroke Recovery




Music and the Brain




Music and the Mind




The Effects of Musical Training on Structural Brain Development (PDF)



Musicians' Brains Are Highly Developed



Musical Training Offsets Aging




Musical Training Has Biological Impact On Aging Process




Musicians Have Biological Advantage In Identifying Emotion In Sound



Everyday Arts in Special Education



EASE (see above) as implemented in District 75, New York City


Arts Education Articles on KPPC Radio-SCPR.Org

(many about LAUSD Arts Education)



Letter from LAUSD Superintendent to School Board, 1884 (PDF)









Why Play and Study Music?






Music Lessons Help Children Climb the Intelligence Scale







Strong Links Found Between Arts Education and Cognitive Development 





Eloquent Evidence




Why Arts Education is Crucial 




Arts at the Core  (PDF)



 The Impact of the Arts on Learning









Arts and School Achievement





Arts Education and Cognitive Development





Critical Links-Learning in the Arts-Summary




Critical Links-Learning in the Arts-Book (PDF)

(major research compendium)










Arts and Student Success




Arts With the Brain in Mind

(book on arts education and brain development)





Brain Scientists Identify Close Links Between Arts and Learning





Six Practical Reasons Arts Education Is More Than a Luxury





Jerome Kagan on Why the Arts Matter









Learning, Arts, and the Brain







Attention May Link Arts and Intelligence







The Arts Will Help School Accountability





Hobbling Arts Hobbles Innovation



Keeping Classroom Creativity Alive



Discussion With State Education Superintendents (PDF)







SAT Scores PDF)





Lower Dropout Rates



The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth (PDF)



Educational Inequity



The Arts Boost Learning and Achievement for Students



Arts Integration and Joyful Learning



The Arts are Essential      (PDF)


Las Artes son Esencial (PDF) (espa~nol)


California Arts Education Summit


Arts Education Hearing at the Capitol







Top Ten Quotes







More Links to Music Education Research



Music Education and the Brain






Support Music Brochure (PDF)










No Child Left Behind


The "No Child Left Behind" act (2001), lists the arts as core academic curriculum.  It is about time for it to be actually treated as such in the schools.



No Subject Left Behind

(A Guide to Arts Education Opportunities in the 2001 NCLB Act)



Is Music Being Left Behind?




A Child Left Behind





Not on the Test

(do not miss this excellent video)




Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?

(insightful essay on standardized testing by a high school senior, published in the Washington Post)



Is Standardized Testing an Affront to Children's Human Rights?

(report from the UK, where there is much less of it than here)


Testing Culture Flunks


Testing Frenzy Crosses Insanity Line



The Myths of Standardized Tests 

(Why They Don't Tell You What You Think They Do)



How standardized tests are affecting public schools

(from the Washington Post)



High-Stakes Testing Fact Sheet




Referendum on High-States Testing





Governor Jerry Brown Calls for Fewer School Tests


Jerry Brown to Arne Duncan: Think Again!


I Am More Than a Test Score


 Matt Damon Speaks to Teachers


Jon Stewart on Teachers


The complete list of problems with high-stakes standardized tests


Letter from former US Secretary of Education, Rod Paige


New US Dept of Education Report on Arts Education (PDF)

US Dept of Ed Blog About that Report



Title I Funds and Arts Education (PDF)

Fondos de Título I y la Educación en las Artes (PDF) (esp)

Ask State Supt. Torlakson to Help with Title I Funds

Parents Sue LAUSD For Misuse of $25 Billion of Title I Funds





Texas School Boards Got it Right!



Sign the Resolution


NY Principals:

A ‘Wrecking Ball’ of Reform Aimed at Schools



Texas Parents Revolt!

(a Stinking Mess!)


Parent Revolution in Seattle


Parents and Kids Against Standardized Testing


Movement Against Standardized Testing Grows


When test scores seem too good to believe


Michelle Rhee's Cheating Scandal


Shame on Michelle Rhee!


Parents--Send in Your Complaints!

(ACLU Complaint about TestCentric Education)


United Opt-Out Movement


United Opt-Out Movement--Texas


United Opt-Out Movement--California


Opt Out of Standardized Tests


Parents Across America


Parents for Great Education


Parents United for Responsible Education



The Power of Parent Participation (PDF)



Fair Test


Fair Testing Campaign (PDF)


California Coalition for 21st Century Schools


Campaign for Quality Education




Diane Ravitch on the Arts in Education



No Subject Left Behind

(article by Diane Ravitch)



How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (

(book by Diane Ravitch)




School Reform

(Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Diane Kravitch)




The Obsession with Testing is Nuts

(By Diane Ravitch in the Huffington Post)



Do Standardized Tests Undermine Our Education System? (audio)

(Diane Ravitch interviewed by Patt Morrison, 2012)



Diane Ravitch Speech

(at UTLA, September 24, 2010)


Diane Ravitch UTLA Speech 2012   (video)



War On Schools

(article by Diane Ravitch)



Ravitch-- Why California Gives Me Hope

(she must not be considering LAUSD)





School Assessments Should Go Beyond Standardized Tests



What Can We Learn from Finland?



Why are Finland's Schools Successful?



Finnish Lessons



Academic Fraud--Does Anyone Care?




The Pearsonizing of the American Mind




Is Your School Infected?



What Should Worry Parents?



Education Questions for Federal and State Candidates (PDF)







Josh Groban Congressional Testimony (video)






The Case for Music in the Schools (video)





Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on Music and Art Education (video)








Music and Arts Standards






Arts Education Blog






Letter from US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (PDF)





Listen to Secretary Duncan on Arts Education (MP3)




Read the Transcript of His Speech (PDF)




Palermo on Duncan




Teachers on Duncan



Should the US Secretary of Education Share the Stage with a Person Under Investigation by His Department?



Race to Nowhere


President Obama, after you are re-elected in November, isn't it about time that you Dump the Dunc? Arne Duncan has been a disaster for public education in this country, causing a whole generation of children to get a substandard dumbed-down narrowed education that is actually nothing more than learning how to take tests. It ihas enriched the pocketbooks of the testmakers, consultants, and data processors, but has been a total disaster for our children.. ..Please appoint Diane Ravitch as your next Secretary of Education. Thank you, Mr. President.


Nine Million Reasons To Speak Up (Video)



Speak Up for Education



LA Education Blog--4lakids



K12 Education News Network










LAUSD Arts Education Branch



LAUSD Music Web Site



Primarias se quedarán sin clases de arte


Write a Letter


Escribe una Carta




Great Tragedy


Letter to the LAUSD School  Board from the LA Music Center


LA Times--LAUSD board meets to discuss fate of elementary school arts education (2010)


LAUSD Special Board Meeting on Arts Education--January 19, 2010

(Very interesting to watch the video.)




 Arts Education Ad in the LA Times




Commentary--"The Wrap"