This is your Teen’s brain on Art.

get elephant's newsletter

“1 in 5 Teens…”

A few great relephant Reddit comments:

Act now before your child comes home with an art degree

Lets take music class out of elementary schools while we’re at it


Studies on music have shown that it leads to the ability to concentrate. Very worrisome.


How will we falsely medicate our kids with ADHD medicine if they can concentrate! I’m calling my local PTA.


Studies have shown that Gym class also burns excess energy at school allowing for better concentration during class time. I think we should get rid of Gym also.


The issue begins with recess


There is quite an extensive amount of studies showing that playing an instrument increases your levels of math and contribute to higher SAT scores and better reading skills. Kids who study an instrument do better in their other subjects and are less likely to engage in self destructive behaviors.

Music majors have also the highest chance of being accepted into medical school and most nobel prize winners in the sciences have studied music. It’s not just a question of creativity but learning an instrument develops the part of the brain necessary for math so the two have always had a strong link. This is why its completely counter-productive to get rid of music classes.

Here’s a few of the studies:

  • In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students, researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.” This observation holds regardless of students’ socio-economic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time.
  • Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation.
  • Data from the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non- participants receiving those grades.
  • In a study conducted by Dr. Timo Krings, pianists and non-musicians of the same age and sex were required to perform complex sequences of finger movements. Their brains were scanned using a technique called “functional magnetic resource imaging” (fMRI) which detects the activity levels of brain cells. The non-musicians were able to make the movements as correctly as the pianists, but less activity was detected in the pianists’ brains. Thus, compared to non-musicians, the brains of pianists are more efficient at making skilled movements. These findings show that musical training can enhance brain function.
  • A University of California (Irvine) study showed that after eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers showed a 46% boost in their spatial reasoning IQ
  • Researchers in Leipzig found that brain scans of musicians showed larger planum temporale (a brain region related to some reading skills) than those of non-musicians. They also found that the musicians had a thicker corpus callosum (the bundle of nerve fibers that connects the two halves of the brain) than those of non-musicians, especially for those who had begun their training before the age of seven.
  • Researchers found that children given piano lessons significantly improved in their spatial- temporal IQ scores (important for some types of mathematical reasoning) compared to children who received computer lessons, casual singing, or no lessons.
  • A McGill University study found that pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly for students given piano instruction over a three-year period. They also found that self-esteem and musical skills measures improved for the students given piano instruction.
  • In the Kindergarten classes of the school district of Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin, children who were given music instruction scored 48 percent higher on spatial-temporal skill tests than those who did not receive music training.


is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


4 Responses to “This is your Teen’s brain on Art.”

  1. […] music helps sooth the mind. Having a fresh, clean and healthy brain keeps your kid upbeat during all the activities he/she performs. The mental health of a child is […]

  2. […] Perhaps the song “Je Suis Malade,” by Belgian singer Lara Fabian is not optimistic, but I found it very powerful and meditative. […]

  3. Sarah Pierce-Davis says:

    Well said and research based! Yay. & don't forget foreign language learning. It also positively impacts brain growth, IQ, math skills etc. Darn those pesky arts & humanities!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.