Music Therapy to Improve School Performance

The calming effects of certain kinds of music are undeniable. So, why not use music therapy to improve school performance? In this article, we'll look at how this technique can be useful when it comes to helping restless students.
Music Therapy to Improve School Performance
María Matilde

Written and verified by the pedagogue and trainer María Matilde.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

When planning their classes, teachers can make use of different resources and implement different strategies to achieve better educational results with their students. Thus, a good option can be to incorporate music into the teaching-learning processes. More specifically, we’re talking about using music therapy to improve school performance.

However, when we talk about school performance, we’re not only referring to the acquisition of knowledge and the grades that a student can obtain. We’re also talking about their evolution in other areas.

For example, learning skills, abilities, attitudes, and social and interpersonal competences, communication, and digital skills. What’s more, we’re also referring to the management and control of emotions, and the ability to resolve conflicts.

What is music therapy?

According to the World Federation of Music Therapy, it refers to the use of music or its elements, sound, rhythm, melody and harmony with a patient or a group, for psychotherapeutic purposes. In other words, a qualified music therapist can use music to promote communication and relationships, learning, movement, expression or other goals.

Music Therapy to Improve School Performance

The aim of music therapy, then, is prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation in order to develop an individual’s potential and restore functions. Thus, satisfying physical, emotional, mental, social, and cognitive needs of children and adults. In this way, we achieve a better interpersonal integration, a better well-being and, in short, a better quality of life for people.

Benefits of music therapy on school performance

Among the many benefits that music therapy has and that can positively affect the educational performance of students, we can mention the following:

  • Controls stress and anxiety
  • Enhances memory
  • Facilitates the expression of feelings and emotions
  • Helps with physical rehabilitation
  • Promotes and improves interpersonal relationships and socialization
  • Increases cognitive ability and stimulates brain function
  • Relieves physical pain
  • Regulates heart rate, circulation, and blood pressure
  • Helps concentration
  • Favors relaxation and alleviates tensions
  • Allows for social integration and the development of compensatory behaviors
  • Boosts creativity and recreation
  • Promotes the development of gross and fine motor skills

The use of music therapy to improve school performance

Music therapy and the action of a music therapist can be valid to respond to a specific situation. At the same time, music therapy can be a regular activity within a classroom’s weekly schedule.

From an integral and holistic perspective, the use of music therapy to improve school performance can occur in the following ways:

  • Incorporating music therapy sessions with musical instruments into the school day once a week. This way, students who know how to play an instrument can bring it to class and share and socialize with their classmates.
Music Therapy to Improve School Performance
  • Choosing calm and relaxing music, jointly and deliberately among all the students. The goal is to listen to pleasant music before starting an exam in order to promote relaxation and reduce nervousness.
  • Using music when doing group activities or workshops. Either as a tool to introduce tasks, to break the ice and socialize, or to produce a more fun and playful atmosphere.
  • Incorporating breathing control and relaxation techniques with appropriate music for this purpose. Thus, a good idea is to plan short periods of time in which these types of sessions take place. This can be at the beginning of the school day or at the end.

Music for everyone

Obviously, it’s important to consider individual aspects and contextual factors that may influence and affect students’ school performance. At the same time, educators must consider what specific situations or problems the use of specific music therapy techniques may be appropriate for.

However, in general terms, the implementation of music therapy to improve school performance has a positive impact on the learning and integral development of students.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.