Music Impact Research Center

WAAM’s Music Impact Research Center (MIRC) funds, researches, aggregates, and disseminates data measuring music’s influence through rigorous, scientific means. 


We have formed a community of domain experts to develop and guide priorities. The team is responsible for curating leading third-party research, as well as producing original content to illustrate and substantiate the tangible link between music and key success metrics. Our analysis is publicly available; it is also shared with our grantees and factors into the evaluation of program delivery. 


Interested in the minds behind this effort? Meet our research team!


Metrics Linking Guitars Over Guns to Broader Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Improving Capacities and Experiences

The We Are All Music Foundation, in partnership with Hello Insight, recently undertook a case study of one of our Power of Music Grantees – Guitars Over Guns – to showcase how their music mentoring program has helped bring about some striking improvements across key metrics showing progress towards Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

Photo credit: Isaac Rodriguez

For CORE SEL, 58% of participants showed improvement in this umbrella category.

Core SEL is further broken down into the follow sub-categories:


Measures a young person’s desire to engage with and contribute to family, community, and society

of participants reported improvement


Measures the ability of a young person to regulate their emotions and behavior, take positive risks, and persist through life’s challenges

of participants reported improvement

Positive Identity

Measures a young person's internal sense of who they are and confidence to explore the multiple facets of their identities

of participants reported improvement

Academic Self-Efficacy

Measures a young person's motivation and perceived mastery over their own learning, school performance, and potential to attain academic success

of participants reported improvement

Social Skills

Measures the ability of a young person to take others’ perspectives into account, and to develop a sense of caring and empathy

of participants reported improvement



Introducing Social Emotional Learning to Music Education Professional Development

There are more knowledge bases, skills, and dispositions that teachers need to have than can be covered in undergraduate music teacher education. One knowledge base that music teachers could benefit from, which is rarely covered in preservice teacher education, is social emotional learning (SEL) and techniques to implement it in their classrooms. Professional development (PD) can help provide career-long growth.
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Measuring Social Emotional Learning Through Student Surveys in the CORE Districts: A Pragmatic Approach to Validity and Reliability

As educational practitioners and policymakers expand the range of student outcomes they assess, student perception surveys—particularly those targeting social-emotional learning—have grown in popularity. Despite excitement around the potential for measuring a wider array of important student outcomes, concerns about the validity of the inferences that might be drawn from student self-reports persist.
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Music and Suicidality: A Quantitative Review and Extension

This article provides the first quantitative review of the literature on music and suicidality. Multivariate logistic regression techniques are applied to 90 findings from 21 studies. Investigations employing ecological data on suicide completions are 19.2 times more apt than other studies to report a link between music and suicide.
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Music and Environmental Studies

The use of music in environmental education (EE) can help to inform students through ideas incorporated in musical lyrics, while also enhancing interest in environmental topics. Music can also enhance perceptions of the value of the natural world, especially when nature itself is recognized as being musical.
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