Choosing the Right Music May Help Your Kids’ Test Scores

All parents want their children to succeed in school and to get good test scores. Parents naturally want their kids to do better than them and to get a better start in life. They also want them to express themselves with music, books, creative arts, and to a certain extent, fashion. Putting the others aside for one moment, their choice in music could be crucial. There are a few genres which might help their progress academically, and a few that might hold them back.

Individual Artists to Aim for

Many music artists cross boundaries and individual genres have their own average scores (see below). However, some artists seem clearly better than others when it comes to the average SAT score of children who see them as their favorite artist. For example, Norah Jones fans average 1180, a full 110 points above average. Bob Dylan, who recently won the Nobel Prize for Literature, does even better with his fans averaging 1197. He is beaten by bands like Radiohead and interestingly, Ben Folds. However, in this survey, the runaway winner is Beethoven with an average SAT score of 1371.

And Those to Avoid

Naturally, for every Beethoven, there were a few not so good artists to listen to. These include the likes of Nickelback, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, and Aerosmith. However, two stood out more than any others in terms of being bad for SAT scores. The second worst artist of all with an average SAT score of 932 was Beyonce. While the worst, with an average score of 889 is Lil Wayne.

How About Music Genres Overall?

Researchers at spent months analyzing data from collegiate records, scholarly journals, and independent studies to bring together a definitive record on how genres of music relate to SAT scores. The results might surprise you because while Lil Wayne is no good for you, his genre is not the worst. That goes to Punk believe it or not which is the only genre of music to fail to cross the average SAT score in the U.S., 1070. Below average genres include electronic, rap, country, latin, R&B, and soul. Metal, bluegrass, jazz, and blues sit on the average fairly comfortably, while folk, rock, and alt/indie are above average. Classical music of course, is the best of all.


If music is a clear indicator, then it is possible to say that steering your kids tastes towards classical music is a must. Alternatively, some bands and artists may be better influences than others whether this is simply down to the style of music or lyrics is another matter. Of course, some like Beethoven, tend not to have any lyrics at all. Of course, while this can be seen as a bit of fun, music is just one of many complex elements which go into a child’s education and cannot replace other, more important ones such as parenting, school quality, and their learning environment as a whole.

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