In a study of medical school applicants, 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. Only 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted.
-Lewis Thomas, as reported in Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994. The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians.
-Grant Venerable, The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989. Students who study music scored higher on both the verbal and math portions of the SAT than non music students.
-College Entrance Examination Board as reported in Symphony. Sept - - Oct 1996. At risk children who participated in an arts program that included music showed significant increases in overall self-concept. - -N.H. Berry, Auburn University, 1992.


Every elected U.S. president since (and including) George Washington has brought his personal piano to the White House. Children who study music have consistently exhibited higher grade point averages, generation after generation. Music therapy has been one of the fastest growing disciplines in medicine during the past 15 years.
Is it just a coincidence? What does this prove? Are there other reasons? Why don't more people recognize these connections? The truth is, most people do. Then why don't more parents support and encourage music study? That's a harder question to answer.
In 1991 The Gallup Organization published a national opinion study that measured peoples' attitudes and behavior toward the piano, and awareness of the benefits of playing the piano. The study randomly interviewed subjects across the nation who were 18 years or older. The results of the survey were impressive. Popularity of the Piano in American Society When asked the question:
"If you could play any musical instrument, what instrument would you choose to play?"
46% chose the piano
22% chose the guitar
No other instrument scored above 6% on its own. However, a closer examination showed a trend related to age groups.
53% of the respondents aged 55 and over chose the piano
49% of the respondents aged 35-54 chose the piano
39% the respondents aged 18-34 chose the piano
However, it is important to note that even the youngest age group showed a clear preference for the piano over all other instruments. =AC 1996 Piano Manufacturers Association International


Music lessons, and even simply listening to music,can enhance spatial reasoning performance, according to research presente at the 102nd Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association. The new findings were presented by psychologist Frances Rauscher, Ph.D.and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., representing a research team from the University of California at Irvine. Dr. Rauscher and Dr. Shaw's studies confirm, and substantially extend their earlier research which demonstrated an unmistakable causal link between music and spatial intelligence. This further research will have considerable potential to reverse the commonly-held view of music education as essentially irrelevant to intellectual development.
The researchers note that well-developed spatial intelligence is the ability to perceive the visual world accurately, to form mental images of physical objects, and to recognize variations of objects. The researchers theorize that spatial reasoning abilities are crucial for such higher brain functions as music, complex mathematics, and chess. As many of the problems in which scientists and engineers engage in cannot be described in verbal form, progress in science may, in fact, be closely linked to the development of certain spatial skills.
Dr. Rauscher and Dr. Shaw's results show that the spatial reasoning performance of 19 preschool children who received eight months of music lessons, far exceeded the spatial reasoning performance of a demographically comparable group of 15 preschool children who did not receive music lessons.
Moreover, scores on a puzzle task, designed to measure spatial reasoning ability, increased significantly during the course of the period they received the music lessons. This experiment was designed to follow up on results generated by a preliminary pilot study completed by the researchers in 1993.
The second experiment, presented at the meeting by Dr. Rauscher and Dr. Shaw, expanded on their widely-reported study published by Nature in October 1993, which found that listening to 10 minutes of Mozart's Piano Sonata K 448 increased spatial IQ scores in college students, relative to silence or relaxation instructions. The new findings replicated the effect, and found no increase in spatial skills after subjects listened to 10 minutes of either a composition by Philip Glass or a highly rhythmic dance piece, suggesting that hypnotic musical structures will not enhance spatial skills.
Dr. Rauscher and Dr. Shaw suggest that these two complementary studies have serious educational and scientific implications. "We are in the process of designing further studies directed toward strengthening the enhancing effect of music training on spatial reasoning that we found for the preschoolers. We hope our research will help convince public school administrators of how crucial music instruction is to all children," they explained. Dr. Rauscher and Dr. Shaw also plan experiments which will begin to examine the neuronal mechanisms responsible for the causal link between music and spatial intelligence.

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