Research studies 1 show that:
children who study music do better in school in a wide range of subjects, as well as in life;
children taught with an early exposure to music through games and songs show an IQ advantage of 10 to 20 points;
music majors score highest in reading compared to English, biology, chemistry and math majors;
music majors who apply to med school have the highest acceptance rate of any group.
Studies 2of very successful scientists and engineers show that:
active participation and demonstrated ability in one or more of the arts are far more predictive of success in science than standard measures such as I.Q., scores on tests such as the SAT, or academic degrees;
a person’s scientific eminence correlates not only with participation in art, music, and literature, but, more important, with the actual use of the skills… in generating advances in science and engineering.
almost all Nobel laureates in the sciences actively engage in arts as adults and are:
25x as likely as the average scientist to sing, dance, or act;
17x as likely to be a visual artist;
12x more likely to write poetry and literature;
8x more likely to do woodworking or some other craft;
4x as likely to be a musician;
2x as likely to be a photographer.
You can’t predict discoveries, but you certainly can create the conditions that favor them.
“The creative scientist needs an artistic imagination.”
- Max Planck, Nobel Prize winner (Physics, 1918), father of quantum theory
Since its establishment in 2009, FanFaire Foundation has presented some explicitly science-themed community programs with musical components; however,the greater part of its activities have focused on music appreciation programs held in INFORMAL ENVIRONMENTS outside the traditional classroom setting. The immediate goal is to get as many young people as possible fired up about music—classical music in particular—through programs held that either feature world-class artists which young students from participating schools attend for free, or through community-based events held in partnership with local libraries and other institutions that, as often as possible, feature young local talents who excel in both music and science and thus are ideal role models for children and young students.
Recent authoritative studies3 underscore the importance of informal education as one of three integral pieces of the U.S. education system (the other two being K-12 education and higher education), i.e., learning in environments outside the classroom has the potential to bolster education broadly on a national scale and offers a platform for learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) that is as equally crucial as the school classroom. The studies emphasize that despite the widespread belief that schools are responsible for addressing the knowledge needs of society, the reality is that schools cannot act alone. Communities must draw on informal experiences to improve education in general and science learning in particular. Indeed, successful informal learning experiences lead not only to increased knowledge, but also to further inquiry, enjoyment, and a sense that the acquired knowledge can be not only personally relevant and rewarding but can also serve the broader interests of society.
2 “For the sake of science, the arts deserve support” by Robert S. Root-Bernstein
“Arts Foster Scientific Success” by Robert S. Root-Bernstein
3 Studies in search of solutions to stem the concurrent decline of US competitiveness in innovation and technology and of science education on the K-12 levels:
“A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas” – National Academies Press 2012;
“Learning Science in Informal Environments” – National Academies Press, May 27, 2009;
Academic Competitiveness Council Report – U.S. Department of Education, 2007;
Report – National Science Board, 2007.