Why music students do better in maths and science

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The necessity of the arts is often under scrutiny in the education system; subjects like music and fine arts are often considered hobbies. A recent study from the University of British Columbia in Canada revealed that students who took part in music lessons achieved high academic results. 

The study found that students who participated in music performed particularly well in Maths and Science. Data were collected from 100.000 students, 15.000 of them were music students in high school between 2012 and 2015. This particularly stood out in trying to find out the link between studying music and superior academic performance. 

Practice Make Perfect

Applying music lessons takes a lot of hard work and practice, and students may need homework help online. The study took into account various factors that influence academic performance. One of the possibilities considered was whether students who took music already have a high IQ. 

The researchers explored all possibilities and still made a clear link to the influence of studying music on academic performance. As per Martin Guhn, learning the art of playing a musical instrument and performing in an ensemble is highly challenging

He concluded that a student has to learn to read music notation, develop keen listening skills, develop eye-hand-mind coordination and learn team skills for playing in an ensemble and for the discipline to practice.

Guhn is one of the researchers who conducted the study. It is clear that the student’s commitment to practice music and the challenges they face in reading and playing music translates to how they relate to other subjects that require practice such as Science and Maths.

What Other Studies Have to Say

An article published in 2008, cited that Nobel Laureates in the Sciences also practiced music. Although the research subjects were small, this proved to be an important step in linking music to academic performance. 

The UBC study concluded that music outnumbered other possibilities relating to good academic performance. Certain studies have noted that studying music positively influences numerical abilities and certain brain functions such as memory.

Other studies have also considered that music is highly motivational because students experience tangible results. Music not only teaches simple composition but is linked to increased confidence and social development, leading to better performance. 

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The Link Between Music, Math, and Science

The UBC research paper found that students who played physical instruments performed better than those who sang, for instance. This means that the level of engagement may also apply to how they view their academic work. 

Music provides a non-competitive environment to learn in, skills like playing in an ensemble require a lot of hard work and practice. Music is considered both an art and a science because it makes use of mathematical principles and logic. Music composition is a mathematical exercise. Instead of numbers, it uses sounds, tempo and pitch to create a melody. 

Both music and math apply certain formulas to solving problems and creating a solution to certain mysteries. Music is as complex as science in that it is as varied as a scientific or mathematical principle. Certain scholars have gone to the extent of stating that music precedes mathematics calling it ‘the father of mathematics.’ 

There are some of the most controversial topics to consider in the field, but specifically looking at the link between Music, Science and Math may make some incredible breakthroughs in education.

Music is a Universal Language

Any culture and place in the world share the common denominator of music. It bridges gaps and actually has the ability to progress beyond the sciences. It is more relatable because all cultures have it. 

That being said, it may link to academic performance because the student is no longer limited to formulas, but there is an involvement of emotions. Music is not purely scientific, and that is why it may easy to apply its lessons across spectrums. Its universality also applies in subjects and in life. Perhaps music students perform better in Science and Maths because they support each other. 

For instance, music notes have been closely linked to mathematical fractions; both are divided into sections to create a particular sequence. So in learning how to read music, the student may experience more ease in solving mathematical or scientific equations. 


The conclusion that can be drawn from these studies is that there is a lot to be said about the personal experience of the student and how they choose to apply what they learn. It all boils down to the music being a key motivator in the learning environment, providing students with ample opportunity to learn and practice. 

At times, they may need help in learning how to start a research paper writing assignment but certainly, know how to solve formulas. When considering budget cuts in schools and colleges, it might not be a good idea to cut music out or take it less seriously. This research shows that music is as important as any subject in school.

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