www.whyville.net Jul 5, 2009 Weekly Issue

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Music and Academics

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Last year, my school did a study to see how music could affect test scores. There were four groups of ten people, all in the same grade, and the same level math class. They were all given a test to take, which was identical for every student. The first group did not listen to music before taking the test. The second group, which I was in, listened to classical music before taking the test. The third group listened to hard rock, and the last group listened to rap.

All of the students involved had different theories of how it would turn out. I hypothesized that there would be no difference in any of the groups, since we didn't listen to the music while actually taking the test. My best friend, who listened to rock music prior to taking the test, thought that her group would make the lowest scores. We all discussed the many possibilities, but could never agree on one thing we all thought would happen.

Everyone was so anxious to find out the results. All of the pupils were chatting and conversing loudly, but as soon as our teacher said she got the test scores, the room became dead silent. She informed us that the average grade for no music was an 85. Classical music's average was a 96. Rock was a 62 and Rap was a shocking 41! Even the people who theorized that there would be differences were shocked at the huge differences in the averages. The most expected was about a three to five point difference in scores.

From then on our teachers always played some good, classical music before we took tests. Although we know that music does have effect on academic performance, we still could not figure out why. What do you think?

Goodbye, and be sure to invest in a Mozart or Beethoven CD!


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