Throughout history, people have created music of all genresThough most people do not chose to play music because it makes them perform better in school, “the link between math and music goes back to the Pythagoras, who in the 6th century BC discovered the mathematical explanation for why certain note combinations are more pleasing than others. The Link between math and music has endured for much of our history ever since” Many people throughout the history of the world have noticed that mathematicians, scientists, politicians, and doctors engage in musical activities at an extremely high rate.
Researchers have also noticed that children who took music lessons performed better in math and science in school. This connection was not validated until a study by Gordon Shaw at UCLA. Gordon Shaw, is the president of the Music Intelligence Neuronal Development Institute, showed how music lessons increased spatial-temporal skills in kids. This skill helps them to do better in math. Spatial temporal reasoning is the ability to recognize patterns and change them in your mind to reach a goal The ability to translate in our mind the position of notes on the page into their position on the keyboard is one of the greatest obstacles a student must overcome.” This ability is an extremely useful skill that can help music students perform better in geometry, drafting and design. Memorizing patterns is also a skill learned by a music student. It is not just the notes, which comprise the pattern, but the correct order. Accurate sequencing is an important aspect of school life. The ability to change patterns is another skill that is learned when participating in music. Music students learn how to modify a pattern or sequence, but not too much to the point where it would be unrecognizable. Learning the point where a variant becomes separate from the pattern is a skill used in statistical analysis and genetics.
Music and Academic success are correlated but socioeconomic status or SES also correlates with academic success. A Family’s socioeconomic status is based on family income, parental education level, parental occupation, and social status in the community. Students with higher SES have more access to music education, and would do better in school whether or not they participate in music, because of their wide-range of resources. Families with high SES have more resources to support their child’s development. Families with low SES not only have low access to community resources but parent’s own inadequate education and abilities to read influences their own children’s academic scores.
Students who participate in music also succeed in more general areas, such as the SAT. One study showed that students participating in music scored 57 points higher on the verbal section and 41 points higher on the math section of the SAT than those who did not participate in music. This specific piece of data shows a strong correlation between playing music and academic performance in school. Most people accept this as fact because according to a study found on the What Kids Can Do website, 95% of people surveyed agree that music is part of a well-rounded education. There are two ways to see this correlation.
On one hand the correlation could simply be that playing music does, in fact, make people smarter. On the other hand musicians may not perform better necessarily because they are involved in music. “…A possible explanation for apparent superior achievement is that music participants had higher academic achievement scores prior to enrolling in music studies” “Other researchers have either found no significant difference in the academic achievement of music participants and other students…or identified alternative explanations for their apparent superiority”
Although musical ability has a strong correlation with academic success, one does not necessarily cause the other. Whether this is because music stimulates the brain or a well rounded individual has more academic success,no one is sure. Charlie Parker, who is an extremely influential jazz artist, once said, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn.”