Disability is Diversity

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Can Music Help Children Learn?

By Jenny Holt

No matter our diversabilities and those of our children, it has long been thought that musical choices can aid or hinder intellectual growth. For decades, parents have played classical music to unborn children and young babies in the hope it helps improve their natural IQs. Furthermore, music therapy and music-based education helps many children including neurally diverse children, for instance those with autism. Now, researchers with Ledgernote have trawled through academic journals and studies to compare music tastes with SAT scores.

Parents of children with special educational needs are well-placed to understand the value of music. Many educational environments place great value on music and it has a truly positive impact on many children. Even children who may be non-verbal or use an alternative communication method can rejoice in music and it is a valuable therapy for children of far reaching and diverse abilities. 

Below outlines some of the findings of the research.

Music Acts with the Best SATs:

1. Beethoven - 1371
2. Radiohead - 1220
3. Ben Folds - 1218
4. Bob Dylan - 1197
5. Norah Jones - 1180

Music Acts with the Worst SATs:

5. Justin Timberlake - 989
4. Aerosmith - 987
3. Jay-Z - 970
2. Beyonce - 932
1. Lil Wayne - 889

These lists cover individual acts and groups, but music tastes go beyond any single artist to whole genres. Luckily, there are SAT range results for genres too:

Blues - 965 to 1220
Country - 985 to 1085
Folk - 990 to 1210
Indie - 960 to 1295
Jazz - 935 to 1220
Metal - 1000 to 1125
Punk - 920 to 1025
Rap - 850 to 1150
Rock - 975 to 1270
RnB/Soul - 875 to 1080

It is worth noting that these results are not academically rigorous. They do not look at the baseline IQ or abilities of kids, nor demographic backgrounds or their diversability. Many children with special educational needs have exceptional skills which expand far beyond what a simple (or complex test) can show. Furthermore, most people enjoy multiple artists spread over multiple genres of music.

If you would like to learn more, however, check out the full results on how music choices affect SAT scores.

About the Author
Jenny Holt is a mother of two, one of whom has a learning disability. Jenny began introducing her daughter to music to support the learning process and she responded positively. Jenny's findings sparked a new interest in the correlation between musical tastes and SAT scores.