The Effect of Music-Enriched Instruction on the Mathematics Scores of Pre-School Children

Maureen Harris
Bridges London: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2006)
Pages 153–156


While a growing body of research reveals the beneficial effects of music on education performance the value of music in educating the young child is not being recognized, particularly in the area of Montessori education. This study was an experimental design using a two-group post-test comparison. A sample of 200 Montessori students aged 3 to 5-years-old were selected and randomly placed in one of two groups. The experimental treatment was an “in-house” music-enriched Montessori program and children participated in 3 half-hour sessions weekly, for 6 months. This program was designed from appropriate early childhood educational pedagogies and was sequenced in order to teach concepts of pitch, dynamics, duration, timbre, and form. The instrument used to measure mathematical achievement was the Test of Early Mathematics Ability-3 to determine if the independent variable, music instruction had any effect on students’ mathematics test scores, the dependent variable. The results showed that subjects who received music-enriched Montessori instruction had significantly higher mathematics scores. When compared by age group, 3 year-old students had higher scores than either the 4 or 5 year-old children.