Recent research, published in the journal Music Education Research, reveals measurable benefits of having a few extra hours of music education every week.
In a comparative survey of nearly one thousand pupils across ten schools in Finland, Päivi-Sisko Eerola and Tuomas Eerola, doctoral students at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, measured and compared the quality of school life for students with and without extended music classes at Year 3 and Year 6 (ages 9 and 12 years old).
Their research uncovered significant differences between the two groups, with those who experienced longer music lessons rating the quality of school life higher in a majority of factors, particularly in areas related to general satisfaction about the school and a sense of achievement and opportunity for students.
Student satisfaction is not a trivial issue, Eerola warns, since it is linked with teachers' work satisfaction and their number of absent days due to sickness (Ervasti et al. 2012): 'If financial losses and absences of teachers can be reduced with more music at school we would certainly hear about it afterwards.'
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