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Unit 4 Research Report

School and Education:

The relationship between playing a musical instrument and students’
performance in school

Techin Mekhora (Delta)

Teacher Mr Matt Allsopp
School Mahidol University International Demonstration School


Introduction 3

Methodology 3

Findings and Discussion 4

Conclusion 4

References 5


Appendix A 6

Appendix B 6

Appendix C 6

Appendix D 7

Appendix E 7


“Life without playing music is inconceivable to me. I live my daydreams in music.

I see my life in terms of music... I get most joy in life out of music.” The quote was stated

Albert Einstein, one of the world’s greatest mind who also played classical violin and piano

(Roberts, 2018). His talent in music evidences the connection between playing a musical

instrument and intelligence. Therefore, it is believed that playing a musical instrument

could positively affect the performance of students in school.


In this section, I will discuss my methodology which will explain in detail about how

I did my research. Firstly, I created a questionnaire on Google Forms and share it into a

LINE group with 382 MUIDS students. The form requires students to log in with their email

to access, to make sure that a person can submit only once. Firstly, they were asked if

they play any musical instruments or not. For those who play at least 1, they would pick

the instrument that they have played the longest. Then, they would choose how long they

have played it from the following choices: 6 months or less, 1-3 years, 4-6 years, more

than 6 years and can’t remember. I added this question because playing music for a long

time, especially since childhood improves the development of the brain in various ways.

This includes language skills, problem-solving skills, spatial intelligence, memory,

attention, concentration, coordination, etc. (Learning Potential, 2017) These skills are very

important in school so that is why I related them with the performance of students in

school. However, research shows that not only playing an instrument but doing sports or

other extracurricular activities can also help students as well. (Crimsoneducation, 2018)

Finally, they would answer how they perform in school, according to their overall grades.

On the other hand, for those who don’t play any musical instrument, they were only

required to tell their overall grades. This information could help me to compare the grades

between students who play and don’t play any musical instruments. Doing so would proof

if playing a musical instrument positively affects the performance in school or not.

Additionally, I also studied and linked information from reliable sources on the internet

with my research to further proof the results of it.

Findings & Discussions

From this research, it turned out that only 59 out of 382 people (15.45%) did the

form. From those 59 responses, 40 play some musical instruments and the other 19 don’t,

making the ratio (appendix A). This data lines up with a research that surveys children in

the UK. Both sources show that approximately 70% of the responses play a musical

instrument (ABRSM, 2014). The majority of students who play a musical instrument have

played it for more than 6 years (appendix C). Most importantly, they receive better grades

than those who don’t play any (appendices D and E). It is clear that their percentage of

A, 55%, and A and B combined, 70%, are both considerably higher than those of students

who don’t play any which are 26.3% and 63.1%, respectively. Schellenberg’s research

also proofs that children who take music lessons appear to have higher IQ. His experiment

on younger children shows that the IQ of them is increased by one-sixth of a point per

month of studying music. (Munsey, 2006) Therefore, it can be inferred that play a musical

instrument positively affects the performance in school. It is also worth mentioning that

this research does have some flaws. One of which being that I didn’t define the term

“playing an instrument”. Another is that only 15.45% answered the form which is too few

to be considered a reliable amount. These problems could greatly affect the result of this

experiment. I also didn’t have an expert proof-read my form which could have made it

more efficient and not similar to others’ experiments in the past. For example, if anyone

has done this kind of research before, I could have used their form to do another survey

and compare with their researches. These are some mistakes that should be fixed in the



To conclude my research, the difference in student’s grades proves that playing a

musical instrument does positively affect the performance in school. Therefore, every

student should have a chance to receive some kind of music education in school to improve

their overall learning abilities. Finding out how music education affects other skills that are

important for students like coordinating skills is something that could be interesting to do

a research on in the future.


Roberts, M. S. (2018, January 05). 10 reasons you should take up a musical instrument.

Retrieved from https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/reasons-to-play-a-musical-


Learning Potential, A. G. (2017, February 20). Musical benefits | Learning Potential,

Australian Government. Retrieved from https://www.learningpotential.gov.au/musical-


The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for High School Students. (2018). Retrieved

from https://www.crimsoneducation.org/th-en/blog/benefits-of-extracurricular-activities

ABRSM. (2014, September). 4. The statistics. Retrieved from


Munsey, C. (2006, June). Music lessons may boost IQ and grades. Retrieved from



Appendix A - Question from my survey

Appendix B - Question from my survey

Appendix C - Question from my survey

Appendix D - Question from my survey

Appendix E - Question from my survey