Music, drama students have better math, reading skills, study finds
October 24, 1999
From Correspondent Anne McDermott
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Being involved in the arts may help students improve their math and reading skills, according to results of a new study from the Department of Education.
Researchers who looked at the math test scores of 25,000 students found that those students who were deeply involved with any kind of instrumental music scored significantly higher than those who were not.
"Music has lots of mathematical aspects to it, so being involved in music sort of conducts your brain to thinking fluidly, mathematically," said James Catterall, the UCLA professor who headed the study.
The trend of higher math scores among music students held true for students of across racial lines and across income groups.
The study also found that students involved in drama had better reading skills than those who weren't. Drama students were also less likely to tolerate racism, which researchers say could be because actors learn empathy.
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