Impacts and long-term effects of music education

Academic Staff

Prof. Dr. Andreas Lehmann-Wermser

Dr. Valerie Krupp-Schleußner

The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (2013-2016).

Cultural Participation


In 2007, the project „Jedem Kind ein Instrument" (JeKi, “An Instrument for Every Child”), has been established in the North Rhine-Westphalia and in the city of Hamburg. By providing elementary school children with instrumental lessons within their regular curriculum, not only musical but also social and cognitive skills and development are supposed to be fostered. Besides, the compensation of social and educational disadvantages is an important issue. In the recent years, several research projects in Germany have investigated the impacts of the instrumental lessons on the development of the children. Further, the cooperation between elementary schools and music schools, which are in the heart of the program, has been evaluated.


From 2009-2012, the Universities of Hamburg and Bremen conducted one of those projects in close cooperation (SIGrun) They considered the question whether the intensified musical activities enhance the development of cognitive and social skills. The development of cultural participation and the shifts in musical taste have also been in the canter of interest.

Due to the German school system, JeKi only is offered for classes 1 to 4. However, the acquirement of the aforementioned competences and skills and the development of cultural orientations occur in long-term processes. Hence, the permanence and real payoff of such a program can only be observed when/after the children have entered secondary schools. This also applies to the comparison with children who didn’t have the possibility to benefit from such a program. Therefore, the real effectiveness of JeKi is determined by the progresses that reach beyond elementary school, as well.

From 2012 – 2015, the two universities cooperate again and investigate the aforementioned long-time effects of special music education programs such as JeKi. The research is based on the results of SIGrun. The new study WilmA (“Wirkungen und langfristige Effekte musikalischer Angebote“) follows a longitudinal design and observes students in class 6 and 7 who partly took part in JeKi. The skill development as well as the degree of cultural participation of the students as a consequence of (non-)participation in JeKi are in the center of interest. Emotional and motivational processes will also be investigated. The question whether highly expensive educational programs such as JeKi can foster learning, development and cultural participation beyond the scope of the privileged classes and how they affect the families of the children will also be investigated.

Two subprojects are working on those questions: "Transfer" (Hamburg) and "Cultural Participation" (Hannover). The project is funded by the “German Federal Ministry of Education and Research”

See also: http://www.jeki-forschungsprogramm.de/