Instrumental music is a pathway into artistic expression and awareness, and playing a musical instrument is a central arts experience for many people. Instrumental and vocal music are among the most visible forms of arts education. In 2015 we add a new series to the Local Arts Index to track adult participation in playing musical instruments.

Scarborough Research gathered data on adult engagement in music in 81 metropolitan areas that contain about 62 percent of the entire U.S. population, along with data Scarborough collects on attendance at museums and at popular music events.

This indicator estimates the percentage of adults – those 18 and over – in its survey base who played a musical instrument in the prior 12 months. It uses data from 2012, 2013, and 2014 from Scarborough Research. It is limited to the 518 counties where Scarborough gathered data from a minimum of 180 respondents over the three years.

Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 11.8%. Median county indicator value = 11.6%.

 

Fast Facts from the Arts Index

International cultural tourism proves recession-proof. Arts travelers are ideal tourists—they stay longer and spend more.  The U.S. Dept of Commerce reports that the percentage of int’l travelers including museum visits on their trip has grown annually since 2003 (17% to 24%), while those including concerts and theater performances have increased five of the past seven years (13% to 17% since 2003).