University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

School of Music Receives $25,000 NEA Grant for Music Research

Friday, July 15, 2016

National Endowment for The Arts chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million in funding for arts projects and partnerships in the NEA's second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2016. Included in this announcement is an Art Works award for $25,000 to the University of South Florida to examine how a technology-based music training program prepares early learners. The NEA's flagship Art Works category supports the creation and presentation of new and existing works, lifelong learning in the arts, and public engagement in the arts through 13 different arts disciplines.

"The arts are all around us, enhancing our lives in ways both subtle and obvious, expected and unexpected," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. "Supporting projects like the one from the University of South Florida offers more opportunities to engage in the arts every day."

The New USF Preschool Music Program

 Jennifer Bugos Teaching Children

Engaging in music is not only creative, but also involves the element of time, making music training a potential factor in positive student outcomes. A pilot study found increased inhibition, an area of executive functions, in children from low income families who received music training compared to a construction task. To explore this further, Assistant Professor of Music Education Dr. Jennifer Bugos formulated a two-year research project to realize the effects of a comprehensive preschool music training program on student outcomes in the areas of working memory, executive functions, and auditory processing. Assessments will test participants' performance in the these categories, comparing student outcomes in the music-training group to the performance of those in a construction task group and a no treatment control group.

The study is a collaboration between Dr. Jennifer Bugos of the USF School of Music and Dr. Darlene DeMarie of the USF College of Education. The study has been endorsed by the School District of Hillsborough County, drawing participants from local Head Start childcare programs as well as children (ages 4-6) from the local community.

To learn about how your child (ages 4-6) might become a part of this exciting new music program, please call 813-517-9625 or email Dr. Jennifer Bugos at

For more details on Dr. Bugos and her research, please click here.

For more details on 2016 NEA grants, please click here.