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New Research Shows Middle School Music and Theater Students Get Better Grades

February 20, 2019

New research presents the best evidence yet that taking arts classes benefits kids academically.

A rigorously designed, decade-long study of more than 30,000 Florida students found students who took an elective arts class in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade had significantly higher grade point averages (GPAs), and better scores on standardized reading and math tests, than their peers who were not exposed to the arts. This held true after the researchers took into account “all the ways that students who did and did not take the arts in middle school were initially different.”

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How Music Can Fight Prejudice

May 29, 2018

New research from Portugal reports schoolchildren around age 11 who learned about the music and culture of a faraway land expressed warmer feelings toward immigrants from that country than those who did not. What’s more, those positive emotions were still evident three months after this exposure to the foreign culture.

“Music can inspire people to travel to other emotional worlds,” writes a research team led by psychologist Felix Neto of the University of Porto. Their work suggests songs can serve as an emotional bridge between cultures, revealing feelings that are common to both.

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