Just the Stats: Fewer Hispanics Study Music Than Other Groups - Higher Education

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Just the Stats: Fewer Hispanics Study Music Than Other Groups



Hispanics are less likely than their minority peers to participate in music education throughout their lifetime, and yet they earn the most music degrees, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). More than 80 percent of Blacks will have taken some sort of musical education training throughout their lifetime, compared to 73 percent of Hispanics. 

A new report was recently released illustrating the direct effects of musical education on personal fulfillment, career success, and higher education attainment. The survey was conducted independently by Harris Interactive®, an online polling company.  

Despite the lack of musical participation, Hispanics outnumber Blacks in earned degrees in music. Based on data from the NCES in 2005, Hispanics represented 12.7 percent of all music associate degree holders, while Blacks earned 8.8 percent of the all music degrees. Similarly, Hispanics represented 6.4 percent of all music undergraduate degree holders, compared to 5.3 percent for Blacks.

MENC: the National Association for Music Education, recently released this statement in which Dr. John Mahlmann, executive director of MENC said, “Research confirms that music education at an early age greatly increases the likelihood that a child will grow up to seek higher education and ultimately earn a higher salary.”

Eight out of 10 households with incomes of $150,000 or more had participated in a musical program, compared to the three-quarters of those earning less than $34,999 who had participated in a music  program 

WHO PARTICIPATED IN MUSIC?

“During your years in school, when and how did you participate in music?”

Demographic

Total Percent

All Adults

75

Gender

     Men

70

     Women

80

Age

     Echo boomers (18-30)

83

     Gen X (31-42)

76

     Baby Boomers (43-61)

74

     Matures (62+)

69

Race/Ethnicity

     White

75

     African-American

80

     Hispanic

73

Income/Household

     $34,999 or less

74

     $35,000 – $49,999

72

     $50,000 – $74,999

75

     $75,000 – $99,999

78

     $100,000 – $149,999

78

     $150,000 +

83

Around 75 percent of Americans surveyed had received some type of musical training at some point during their life-time. Roughly two-thirds of adults who were interviewed, stated that music provides people with a disciplined approach to solving complicated issues. Sixty-four percent stated that it prepares someone to effectively manage tasks, all tasks associated with success in higher education.

MUSIC PARTICIPATION

“During your years in school, when and how did you participate in music?”

Total

Elementary School

Jr. High School

High School

College

None of these

%

%

%

%

%

%

Chorus or vocal group

51

29

27

27

5

49

Formal lessons involving an instrument

42

29

22

15

3

58

School instrumental ensembles, such as orchestra or band

35

19

22

18

4

65

Informal groups such as garage bands

14

5

5

6

3

88

Formal vocal lessons

12

1

3

10

4

86

Something else involving music

24

10

10

15

10

76

The survey illustrates a direct correlation between musical participation and education attainment. The most significant association appeared at the post-graduate level, where 88 percent of all graduates received musical training.  Likewise, 86 percent of adults with a college education had musical training compared to 81 percent of those with some college, and 65 percent with those with a high school education or less. 

WHO PARTICIPATED IN MUSIC? “During your years in school, when and how did you participate in music?”

Education

Total Percent

High School or less

65

Some college

81

College graduate

86

Post graduate

88

The survey was launched independently by Harris Interactive®, an online polling company. The survey results were aggregated from 2,565 adults who were 18 and over residing in the United States, and administered between October 9 and 15, 2007.

–Olivia Majesky-Pullmann

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