High School Ensemble Player = Better Student

If the goal of education is to create a socially responsible and productive citizenry, playing in an ensemble is one of the paths toward attaining this objective.

A recent article by researcher Peter Miksza is an investigation of the relationships between participation in high school music ensembles and certain extramusical outcomes.

In his work, which analyzed the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using what he calls a “bioecological develpment model,” Miksza confirmed earlier research that found that “students in high school music ensembles are significantly more likely to

  • have high math achievement scores,
  • be more concerned about community ethics (building friendships, helping others, correcting social inequalities), and 
  • be more committed to school (less late arrivals, fewer cuts/skips, and absences).”

Peter Miksza’s article, “Investigating Relationships between Participation in High School Music Ensembles and Extra-Musical Outcomes: An Analysis of the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using a Bioecological Development Model,” was published in the Fall 2010 Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, no. 186, pp. 7–25.

MENC member Peter Miksza is an assistant professor of music education at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

–Ella Wilcox, May 10, 2011, © National Assocation for Music Education (www.nafme.org)