Music education is associated with those who go on to higher education. In looking at what groups may have participated more in music, education shows the largest differences. Two-thirds (65%) of those with a high school education or less participated in music compared to four in five (81%) with some college education and 86 percent of those with a college education. The largest group to participate in music, however, are those with a post graduate education as almost nine in ten (88%) of this group participated while in school.
Music education is also associated with higher incomes. Three-quarters of people (74%) with household incomes of $34,999 or less and 72 percent of those with incomes of $35,000-$49,999 participated in music, compared to 83 percent of those with incomes of $150,000 or more.
The whole poll (taken among 2,565 American adults in October, 2007) is a fascinating read, but what I found especially striking was the absence of much of a geographic (music participation in school was slighty higher in the east), gender (women study music a little more then men), and most notably, racial divide in the findings: In fact, 80% of the African-Americans surveyed they had taken some sort of music instruction in school, compared to 75% of Whites and 73% of Hispanics. The Music Educator’s National Conference’s (MENC) (”No Child Left Behind Act is Leaving Music Education Behind,
Despite Proven Benefits”) take on the study can be found here.