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New Study: Music Ed Promotes Lifelong Engagement with the Arts

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Apr 17, 2017

A recent study concludes that children with exposure to music education are significantly more likely to engage with the arts throughout their lifetime. Published in Psychology of Music by Kenneth Elpus, a professor at the University of Maryland, the article suggests that while many music educators stress that childhood education leads to lifelong engagement, there is not significant research into whether or how that process works.

In this study, the author used data collected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for their Survey of Public Participation in the Arts. Ultimately, according to the author, the data “provides evidence that school-based music and arts education in the United States has measurable, positive arts-related outcomes in adulthood – at least in terms of attending the “benchmark” arts events that have been consistently included in the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts and in certain kinds of arts creation or performance.”

Importantly, Elpus notes that, “If one aim of music education, as many music educators report,…is to engender a lifelong connection with the arts, the results of this study suggest that music (and arts education more broadly) is achieving this aim for many alumni.”

You can read more about the study here.

Photo credit: Music Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (teaser); Village of Arts and Humanities, Philadelphia, PA (detail)

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