Recent research that YOU can use to advocate for music education

I’ve been keeping a close eye on music education research for the past several years. When I started taking notes, a lot of the data was pretty dated. After all, research on the benefits of music education isn’t very sexy, and probably won’t get underwritten by a wealthy multinational conglomerate anytime soon.

In the last couple of years, though, new research has been published that better quantifies the positive effects of music education. In the hopes that you’ll use it to advocate for music education, I’ve selected a few of my favorites below.

Even though music educators and music students know firsthand the myriad benefits of music education,  decision makers often don’t. They might assume that music educators who advocate for music education to decision makers are merely in it to protect their jobs, or that music students just need an excuse to keep having fun in school.

That’s why it’s so crucial that parents become more involved as advocates for music education. Parents are taxpayers. They’re voters. And as the legal guardians of students, they’re effectively consumers of the end product of public schools: education.

Parents are also a step removed from the teachers and students who may be perceived as having a vested interest in the success of the music education program. But parents also have a front row seat to experience the positive changes they see in their children as they progress.

You’ll notice that wherever possible, I’ve included a link where you can find more detailed information, often to the research paper itself. I hope this information is helpful to you as you advocate for music education, and I’d love to hear how you’re using it!


Kathleen Heuer

Kathleen Heuer is the host of Marketing Music Education, the podcast that encourages music educators & boosters to increase the reach, influence and “relentlessly positive” perception of their programs. By day she is a social media & digital marketing consultant, content strategist, community manager, and graphic designer for Broken Chord Communications, working primarily in the field of music education. Married to an engineer she met while she was in college marching band, she’s a proud band and orchestra parent twice over. You can check out her website at and follow her on Twitter at @KathleenHeuer.

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