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A review by Linda Birch, Principal of St Michael’s School in Taita, of the recent National Standards test results in reading, writing and maths suggests the academic performance of students of Arohanui Strings is strengthened by being enrolled in the music programme. 

While such correlations can't be seen as definitive proof, they certainly confirm what's been borne out in numerous studies linking music study with improved academic ability. Many of these studies were summarised in the Institute for Public Policy’s Evaluation of Sistema Aotearoa, where they concluded “multiple studies highlight a relationship between music learning and development across several domains including language and literacy, spatial temporal reasoning, achievement in maths, general intelligence and social and emotional competencies.”  

Some of the newest research is finding that music study during childhood actually influences brain growth and development. For instance, one study by Schellenberg and Winner (2011) found "children with 15 months of musical training showed significant structural brain changes when compared to control groups”. This caused them to state “we can infer a causal link from music training to brain growth with some confidence”. 

Similarly, Hille, Gust, Bitz and Kammer (2011) provided evidence of higher non-verbal IQ scores for young German boys aged 8-9 who played instruments, compared to their non-musical counterparts. This report can be found on our website under  The Impact of Music Education.