$20K Fed Study: Can 'Choral Music' Lift Moods at Juvenile Hall

By James Beattie | October 11, 2013 | 11:08 AM EDT



(CNSNews.com) - The federally funded National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded the Carnegie Hall Society $20,000 to study juvenile delinquents’ “moods” and “attitudes” after singing in jailhouse glee clubs in New York City.

According to the 2013 Art Works Research Grants, the $20,000 study will “support a study of a choral music-based intervention being implemented at juvenile detention centers in New York City.”

The Carnegie Hall grant is just one of 17 federal arts grants totaling $350,000 awarded by NEA in 2013. It will be used to “analyze outcomes on participants by using a combination of attitudes/moods rating scales, behavioral observation techniques, diagrams, time diaries, journal entries and other writings, and juvenile detention facilities data.”

Congress appropriated $138,383,218 to fund the arts agency in fiscal year 2013.

“The NEA research grant helps to fund an evaluation of Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program conducted by an independent research firm. Musical Connections provides free musical events (workshops and concerts) for a wide variety of audiences including patients in healthcare facilities, U.S. military veterans, juveniles and adults in correctional facilities, and residents of homeless shelters across New York City,” Carnegie Hall spokesman Matt Carlson said  in an e-mail to CNSNews.com.

New York City's Carnegie Hall (AP)

“This study will specifically focus on our work in juvenile justice settings. Through this program, we will look at the effects of arts participation and how it best supports young people in need,” Carlson added.

Carlson directed CNSNews.com to the official website of Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program, which uses music to introduce “positive communication techniques” and for “strengthening links to family and community for inmates in correctional facilities.”

Musical Connections also “works with local agencies overseeing homeless shelters and senior centers to coordinate attendance and free access to concerts presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s popular Family Concerts, Neighborhood Concerts, and Carnegie Kids events.”