Under the ISO's six-year-old School Partnership Program, the orchestra collaborates with schools to put together lesson plans and to incorporate the arts into core subject areas.
Robert Horowitz, a professor of arts-education research at Columbia University, carried out the evaluation, examining five schools in and around Indianapolis.
Horowitz found that 87 percent of students acquired a greater understanding of music as a result of the ISO program and that 75 percent developed better listening skills. Sixty-six percent improved their reading and writing skills, and 59 percent learned social studies more easily. Sixty percent of the students, according to Horowitz, were generally more "motivated and engaged in school" because of the program.
Teachers, too, told Horowitz that the program had helped them, with 93 percent saying that "the ISO partnership helped them teach academic subjects in new and productive ways."