Our Impact

Teaching Artists
Hours / Week

Music education makes a quantifiable difference in a child’s life and we have the data to prove it. Since 2012, Play On, Philly! has made formal evaluations a priority of its organization; we obtain quantifiable data as to the program’s effectiveness and use the research for our students’ benefit to provide the best after-school lessons and holistic education possible. We work with independent consulting firm  WolfBrown to evaluate students’ progress as they proceed through our program. Tests are administered at the beginning of end of every school year and measure memory, inhibition control, focus, and overall executive functioning skills.

The research study is guided by an essential theory of change: Access to high-quality music education can mitigate the effects of risk on academic achievement and prosocial behavior by fostering participants’ executive functions which are sets of goal-directed behaviors.

The evaluation results at our music site have shown quantifiable success:

  • POP students earn 10 points higher on standardized tests than their peers
  • They score higher on English Language Arts tests
  • They score higher on math tests
  • They have increased study skills
  • Students demonstrate better executive functioning skills like determination and focus

We hope to continue adding to the body of evidence available about the powerful impact that music education can have on a child’s future.



Play On, Philly! (POP) provides intensive music education to K-12 students, who would typically lack access, as a vehicle for life skills and academic achievement

For 2½ hours every day, students enjoy instrument instruction and ensemble practice completely tuition-free