Students taking up music courses in high school, manage to achieve better scores in English, Math and Science examinations. This was the findings gathered by a group of researchers at the University of British Columbia, when they conducted a population-level analysis of the links between academic achievements and participation in school musical activities. Results of the analysis were published recently in the Journal of Educational Psychology.
Peter Gouzouasis who headed the academic investigation said, their analyses revealed that students who were into at least one musical instrument from elementary to high school, not only managed to score higher. The musically inclined students were also able to finish academics ahead by one year than their non-musical counterparts.
However, when associating this population study with a 2012 European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine of medical research about music students on Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PRMD), it appears that the drawback to such an achievement is a predictive susceptibility to musculoskeletal dysfunctions.
About the UBC Study on Musician Students as Better Academic Achievers than Non-Musician Students
UBC Professors Peter Gouzouasis, Martin Guhn, and Scott D. Emerson MSc at the university’s School of Population and Public Health, gathered data related to 112,000 high school students in all British Columbia public schools, who completed Grade 12 Level between 2012 and 2015. Learners classified as music students are those who elected to study a music course on at least one instrument.
Better academic performance was measured through exam grades, regardless of ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, and prior learning experience in math and English.
According to Prof. Gouzouasis, the revelations of their predictive analysis proved public school administrators wrong. The latter group held the belief that musically inclined students, who spend more time studying music, will likely underperform in the main academic subjects.
Prof. Martin Guhn, who co-investigated in the study said their findings suggest that skills acquired by students in learning a musical instrument, expands quite broadly to academic learning. Their analysis is that skills are developed because of the demands imposed on students when learning to play an instrument. Such demands include, knowing how to read music notation, as well as keen development of eye-hand-and-mind coordination, listening skills, team skills and discipline for practice.
All of which, play an important role in enhancing a musician-student’s cognitive capabilities, ability to plan, organize and finish tasks, motivation for learning and belief in one’s abilities.
Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (PRMD) Among Music Students
This medical study was collaborated on by the Department for Musculoskeletal and Pain Medicine at the Institute for Musician’s Medicine in Berlin, Brandenburg and the Sana Kliniken Sommerfeld in Kremmen, Germany.
Findings delved on the prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) developed by professional musicians and music students associated with playing instruments; otherwise known as Playing-Related Musculoskeletal Disorder (PRMD). Analysis showed that the disorder is common to musicians; to which 80% of professional musicians suffer from PRMD while the prevalence rate among music students is said to be higher.
PRMDs relate to the pain or injuries experienced in the joints, muscles, nerves, ligaments, tendons, and structures of supporting limbs, neck and back of the musculoskeletal system. The most common underlying causes are degenerative discs and facet joints, which can cause secondary pain in the muscles and nerves of the spine and extremities. Sufferers generally experience low-back pain, although they can be prevented or alleviated by early treatment.
To learn more about low-back pain as a result of degenerative discs and facet joints disorders associated with PRMD, comprehensive information is available at the website of the Central Texas Spine Institute in Austin.