Education Endowment Foundation:Act, Sing, Play

Act, Sing, Play

Creative Futures UK
Implementation cost
Evidence strength
Impact (months)
Project info

Independent Evaluator

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Testing the link between music instruction and academic attainment.

Schools: 19 Grant: £415,000
Key Stage: 1 Duration: 2 year(s) Type of Trial: Effectiveness Trial
Completed January 2015

Act, Sing, Play (ASP) offered music and drama tuition to Year 2 pupils. The aim of the programme was to evaluate whether music workshops had a bigger impact than drama workshops in terms of pupils’ maths and literacy attainment. The evaluation was based on the hypothesis that participation in high-quality music instruction promotes educational attainment over and above instruction in other artistic pursuits (see Schellenberg, 2004).

The ASP programme was developed specifically for this trial and ran from September 2013 to June 2014: 909 pupils participated in 19 schools across London, Essex, Sussex and Coventry. In each participating Year 2 class, pupils were randomly allocated to one of three groups: violin or cello workshops (ASP-strings), singing lessons (ASP-singing), or drama workshops (ASP-drama). The two music groups (strings and singing) represented the treatment arms of the trial. Students in the ASP-drama workshops represented the control. Each workshop had around 10 students. Workshops were held once a week over 32 weeks. The programme was delivered by Creative Futures, funded by the Education Endowment Foundation, and independently evaluated by NatCen.

ImpactThe size of the difference between pupils in this trial and other pupils
SecurityHow confident are we in this result?
MUSIC workshops compared to drama workshops
Months' progress
MUSIC workshops compared to drama workshops
Months' progress