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Learning With Strings Attached

Why should students learn to play a musical instrument? Because some researchers believe it might lead to higher test scores.

Why do we doing anything in public education these days?

Anyway, in a new study being conducted in a Pennsylvania school district, 130 kindergarten students will be taught to play the violin, theorizing that the instruction will “boost performance on standardized tests”.

“The object isn’t to learn to read music or even to learn to play the violin well,” said Schuylkill Valley Superintendent Solomon Lausch. “It’s to see if learning to play music by imitation has a positive impact on cognitive development such that it improves general academic performance.”

There’s something very sad about that attitude towards arts education.


  1. Louise Maine

    Indeed! And my biggest regret in moving back to PA, was leaving a wonderful school district in MI that put stringed instruments in the hands of anyone who wanted to. Not for test scores, but for a more worldly and balanced person. Half of the football team was in the orchestra.

  2. teacherninja

    Although isn’t it interesting that all the things that make one a more worldly and balanced person also have the byproduct of higher test scores. Maybe we should just focus on creating future worldly and balanced citizens who like to read, engage in inquiry, enjoy the arts, and are physically fit–who knows what might happen?

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