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Music Education Advocacy Resources

We’ve put together a set of downloadable resources for you to use, that we hope will be helpful when advocating for music education in your school and district. These include an article (a printable format of the article below) and a set of 6 printable posters focused on the benefits of music education according to recent research.

To read more about the studies we referenced in the posters, scroll down to the article below. We have also commissioned a brand new song about the power of music, and the sheet music is available as a FREE download for teachers. Visit this page for more information:

You can download the article and poster PDFs by submitting this form. The download will start automatically, so check the downloads tab in your browser if you don’t see it.

The Significant Benefits of Music Education

Music In Our Schools Month shines a spotlight on the critical role you play as music educators in shaping students’ lives. While you’re well aware of music education’s broad benefits, this article introduces recent research that further emphasizes its importance. From boosting development in early childhood to improving cognitive function in older adults, these studies offer robust evidence to support what you’ve long advocated: music education is essential, not optional, in nurturing well-rounded learners.

Advocating for Music Education

As educational budgets tighten, music programs often face cuts, labeled as non-essential. However, the research shared in this article equips music teachers with strong evidence to advocate for the preservation of music education. Highlighting its benefits for cognitive, emotional, and academic growth can convincingly argue for music’s indispensable role in schools.

The Early Benefits: Music Learning for Young Children

In early childhood, music education contributes to significant improvements in social and developmental skills. Research has shown that music learning can enhance young children’s abilities to empathize and cooperate with others. Studies from the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute have also found that providing musical learning in early childhood can accelerate brain development, particularly in areas related to sound processing, language development, speech perception, and reading skills.

Emotional Well-being: Music Education in Adolescence

During adolescence, music education can play a pivotal role in supporting emotional well-being. Research has found a strong connection between music education and improved emotional intelligence in teenagers, suggesting that music helps them better understand and express their emotions. A study published in The Journal of Creativity in Mental Health highlights how practicing and performing music can provide a therapeutic outlet for teenagers, helping them to recognize and regulate their emotions.

Cognitive Development: Music and Neural Integration

Music education has also been linked to improved neural integration, meaning that students who study music tend to perform better in other academic subjects. This is because practicing and performing music enhances the brain’s ability to integrate information from multiple regions of the brain at once, improving learning and problem-solving skills. Research, including studies published in the Journal of Neuroscience, indicates that music instruction leads to improved neural processing, which correlates with better performance in subjects like mathematics and language arts.

Brain Plasticity and Task Switching

Recent research, highlighted in journals like Frontiers in Psychology, reveals that music training significantly boosts brain plasticity. This enhanced cognitive flexibility makes it easier for individuals to switch between tasks seamlessly. When students can make music with others, they must maintain an awareness of not only their own part, but how it fits together within the ensemble, in real-time, as they play. These skills are also beneficial for students outside of school, when navigating the dynamic and rapidly evolving environment around them.

The Lasting Value of Music Education

The benefits of music education are profound and far-reaching. One recent study has even shown that early engagement with music can lead to better cognitive performance in old age, again highlighting the long-term value of music education. This evidence supports the view that music education is not just beneficial for developing specific musical skills but is crucial for cognitive, emotional, and social development, and should be an integral part of every student’s education.

Research on the Benefits of Music Education

Cognitive Benefits From a Musical Activity in Older Adults Published March 2019

Music Education at School: Too Little and Too Late? Evidence From a Longitudinal Study on Music Training in Preadolescents Published December 2019

Biological Principles for Music and MentalHealth Published December 2023

Exploring the Impact of Music Education on the Psychological and Academic Outcomes of Students: Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy and Self-Esteem Published February 2022

Music Enrichment Programs Improve the Neural Encoding of Speech in At-Risk Children Published September 2014

How Musical Training Shapes the Adult Brain: Predispositions and Neuroplasticity Published March 2021

Is musical engagement enough to keep the brain young? Published December 2022

Music Engagement as a Source of Cognitive Reserve Published November 2023

Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning Published October 2008

Music training can change children’s brain structure and boost decision-making network
Published November 2017




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We are very excited to launch our Teacher Resources page at Wenger. Of course, you’ve known Wenger since you sat down in your very first student chair or sang your heart out standing on the choir room risers. Now as an educator, you’re teaching and inspiring young musicians every day, and we’d love to help. You can subscribe, or follow us on social channels so you never miss a post.

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Sheet Music Download for "There's Music"

FREE Sheet Music Download for “There’s Music”

We have commissioned a brand new song to celebrate the power of music! It’s titled “There’s Music” and you will love the optimistic, upbeat feel and impactful lyrics about why everyone needs music in their lives. It would be a great programming choice for spring concerts or end-of-the-year performances.

Read More »