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Combining math with music leads to higher scores in math

A post from the Music Matters Website


Jul 3

International studies involving 78,000 children suggest that they do better at maths when music is a key part of their lessons. This is particularly effective when music is integrated into maths lessons.

Dr. Ayça Akin, from the Department of Software Engineering, Antalya Belek University, Turkey, searched academic databases for relevant research between 1975 and 2022. She combined the results of 55 studies from around the world involving almost 78,000 young people, from kindergarten pupils to university students.

Three types of musical intervention were included: (i) typical music lessons (in which children sing and listen to, and compose music); (ii) instrumental musical lessons (in which children learn how to play instruments, either individually or as part of a band); and (iii) music-maths integrated interventions, in which music is integrated into maths lessons.

Students took maths tests before and after taking part in the intervention, and the change in their scores was compared with that of youngsters who didn't take part in an intervention.

The integrated lessons had the biggest effect, with around 73% of students doing significantly better than youngsters who didn't have any type of musical intervention. Some 69% of students who learned how to play instruments and 58% of students who had normal music lessons improved more than pupils with no musical intervention.

The results indicate that music helps more with learning arithmetic than other types of maths and has a bigger impact on younger pupils and those learning more basic mathematical concepts.



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