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Sources and Further Reading

Below are some articles, reports, videos, and resources for further reading around the wide-ranging benefits of music.

Music makes you smile

Elizabeth Valentine and Claire Evans, ‘The effects of solo singing, choral singing and swimming on mood and physiological indices, British Journal of Medical Psychology, 74 (2001)

Stephen Clift, Grenville Hancox, Ian Morrison, Barbel Hess, Gunter Kreutz and Donald Stewart, ‘Choral singing and psychological wellbeing: Quantitative and qualitative findings from English choirs in a cross-national survey’, Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 1: 1 (2010)

Heather L. Stuckey and Jeremy Nobel, ‘The connection between art, healing, and public health: A review of current literature’, American Journal of Public Health, 100: 2 (2010)

Jane W. Davidson, ‘Musical participation: Expectations, experiences, and outcomes’, in Music and the mind: Essays in honour of John Sloboda. , ed. by Irène Deliège and Jane W. Davidson (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Louise Bull, ‘How can you use music to support wellbeing in your early years setting?’, Nursery Management Today (2020)

Music is good for your brain

Bigger Better Brains has created tools to help you articulate the benefits of music education. BBB began when the TED Education video ‘How playing an instrument benefits your brain’, written by BBB founder Dr Anita Collins, was released in 2014 and soon went viral. Watch the video.

Julia Jones, The Music Diet: The rock and roll route to a healthier, longer life (Biddles Books: 2019)

Julia Jones, Keynote speech at the Music Mark Annual Conference 2020. Video recording available to Music Mark members here.

Daniel Levitin, This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession (Penguin: 2019)

Aniruddh D. Patel, Music, Language, and the Brain (Oxford University Press: 2007)

Oliver Sacks, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (Knopf: 2007) 

Music helps you connect

Stephanie Pitts, Valuing musical participation (Routledge: 2005)

Christopher Small, Music, Society, Education (Wesleyan University Press: Revised edition 2012)

Music has academic benefits

Anita Collins, The Music Advantage: How Music Helps Your Child Develop, Learn, and Thrive (Penguin Publishing Group: 2021) 

Susan Hallam, The Power of Music (International Music Education Research Centre: 2015)

Giovanni Sala and Fernand Gobet, ‘Cognitive and academic benefits of music training with children: A multilevel meta-analysis’, Memory & Cognition (2020)

Susan Hallam and Kevin Rogers, ‘The impact of instrumental music learning on attainment at age 16: A pilot study’, British Journal of Music Education, 33: 3 (2016)

Susan Hallam, ‘A Singing School is a Successful School’, Out of the Ark Music (2019)

Martin Guhn, Scott D. Emerson and Peter Gouzouasis,  ‘A population-level analysis of associations between school music participation and academic achievement’, Journal of Educational Psychology, 112: 2 (2020)

Voices Foundation, ‘The Benefits of Music Activity for Disadvantaged Children’ (2022)

Youth Music, ‘Exchanging Notes’ (2019)

Music opens a door to a whole world

UK Music, ‘Music by Numbers’ (2020)

UK Music, ‘This Is Music’ (2021)

Youth Music, ‘A Blueprint for the Future’ (2020)

There are lots of ways to be musical

Francois Matarasso, A Restless Art: How Participation Won, and Why it Matters (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: 2019) 

Youth Music and Ipsos MORI, ‘The Sound of the Next Generation’ (2019)

You don't need to spend much to get started

Susan Hallam and Andrea Creech, Music Education in the 21st Century in the United Kingdom – Achievements, analysis and aspirations (Institute of Education: 2010)

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, ‘The role of the parent in supporting music learning and progression’, Keynote speech at the Music Mark Annual Conference 2020. Video recording available to Music Mark members here.

You don't need to be an expert to help your child learn

Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason, House of Music: Raising the Kanneh-Masons (Oneworld Publications: 2020)

Music Mark, ‘Music is the ultimate mode of communication: Get to know Music Mark’s new Champion, Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason’ (2022)

Music is for life

Kathryn Roulston, ‘There is no end to learning: Lifelong education and the joyful learner’, International Journal of Music Education, 28: 4 (2010)

Alexandra Lamont, ‘The beat goes on: Music education, identity and lifelong learning’, Music Education Research, 13: 4 (2011)

Stephanie Pitts, ‘Making music, making communities’, Making Music (2018)

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, ‘Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing’ (2017)

General reading

ABRSM, ‘Making Music: Teaching, learning & playing in the UK’ (2014)

Making Music, ‘The Evidence Bank’ (2015)

Music Mark, ‘Ten Things Schools Should Know About Music’ (2019)

Howard Goodall, Keynote speech from the award-winning composer, music historian and broadcaster at Music Mark’s Autumn Term CPD Day in September 2021. Video recording available to Music Mark members here.

Public Health England, ‘Evaluation Framework: Arts for Health & Wellbeing’ (2016)

Peter Webster, ‘Creative thinking in Music: Introduction‘, Music Educators Journal, 76: 9 (1990)

World Pencil, Hitting the spot: Music and social impact toolkit 


For a comprehensive range of resources to support music education in and out of the classrooom, please visit our Resources.

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