SAT SCORES FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN FINE ARTS COURSES

Students of the arts continue to outperform their non-arts peers on the SAT, according to reports by the College Entrance Examination Board. In 2002, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. Scores for those with coursework in music appreciation were 63 points higher on the verbal and 44 points higher on the math portion.

Data for these reports were gathered by the Student Descriptive Questionnaire, a self-reported component of the SAT that gathers information about students' academic preparation.

Course Title Verbal Mean Scores Math Mean Scores
2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004
Acting/Play Production 543 542 541 532 532 531
Art History/Appreciation 518 517 518 517 518 518
Dance 514 514 512 508 510 510
Drama: Study or Appreciation 534 534 534 521 522 523
Music:Study or Appreciation 538 538 539 534 537 538
Music Performance 530 532 533 531 534 535
Photography/Film 526 526 527 524 526 526
Studio Art/Design 525 524 525 527 528 528
No Arts Coursework 477 477 476 492 496 494
Honors Courses 565 564




Years of StudyVerbal Mean Scores Math Mean Scores
2002 2003 2004 2002 2003 2004
More than 4 years 543 544 543 545
4 or more Years 538 536 535 537 532 530
3 Years 515 516 518 513 517 518
2 Years 506 506 506 511 513 513
1 Year 498 497 497 508 510 510
.5 Year or Less 487 486 485 499 500 500



Sources: The College Board, Profile of College-Bound Seniors National Report for 2002, 2003,and 2004.


QuickFacts and Benefits of Music and the Arts in Education and Society


Student Performance

The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT's than students with no participation.

- Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by the Music Educators National Conference (2002)


U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students 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."

- U.S. Department of Education NELLS88 Database


Public Support and Access

According to a 2003 Gallup survey, 95 percent of Americans believe that music is a key component in a child's well-rounded education.

- American Attitudes on Music, Music Making and Music Education, The Gallup Organization 2003


In spite of this public support and documented benefits, "only one in four eighth graders reported being asked to sing or play a music instrument at least once a week."

-1998 NAEP Assessment


Life Skills

Arts involvement teaches children many skills necessary to succeed in life, including problem solving and decision making, building self-confidence and self-discipline, the ability to imagine what might be and to accept responsibility for it, teamwork, the development of informed perception, and articulating a vision.

- Compiled from various research documents and reports


Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs).

- Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998


Scientific Research

A research team reports that early music training dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills. These findings indicate that music uniquely enhances higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering.

- From Neurological Research, Feb 28, 1997; Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D, University of California, Irvine


A two-year Swiss study involving 1,200 children in 50 schools showed that students involved in the music program were better at languages, learned to read more easily, showed an improved social climate, showed more enjoyment in school, and had a lower level of stress than non-music students.

-Weber, E.W., Spychiger, M. & Patry, J.L. (1993)


Arts and the Economy

America's nonprofit arts industry generates $134 billion in economic activity every year, including $24.4 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues.

- Americans for the Arts

Despite this, state-level arts spending dropped from $409 million in fiscal year 2002 to 354.5 in fiscal year 2003 and declined again to $272.4 million in 2004.

- National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

MUSIC MAKES A DIFFERENCE!