Instrumental Music Presence – A Nationwide View

MTD has been conducting analysis on our school data, specifically pertaining to performing arts. There are unique patterns that can be observed for every type of instrumental music program found in schools.

We were wondering about overall patterns related to schools that have instrumental programs versus schools that don’t. In order to start our exploration, we asked two basic questions:

  1. What percentage of schools in each state have any instrumental music programs?
  2. What patterns can be observed by the overall presence of instrumental programs in a state?

In this analysis, we looked for any public or private schools (elementary, middle, senior high) that have one or more of the following programs:

● Concert Band
● Marching Band
● Jazz Band
● String Orchestra

Our analysis based on the first question returned these results:

(Click on the image for larger view)


We created a chart that visualizes every school in each state. Schools without any instrumental music programs are shown in blue. Schools with instrumental programs are shown in orange. We sorted the chart by total percentage of schools with instrumental programs.

What we can see is that the states with the most instrumental program presence are Iowa, Kansas, Vermont, Maryland, North Dakota, Maine, Nebraska, and Connecticut. The states with the lowest instrumental program presence are DC, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, and Louisiana.

We also found it insightful to view this data in a geographic format.


This map makes the data from the chart much more interesting and expository. There are a couple things we can see here.

First, all the states with the highest level of instrumental program presence are grouped in two distinct regions: the center of the country, and the northeast.

Second, all the states with the lowest level of instrumental program presence are similarly grouped. With the exception of DC, all of these states are southern, with the majority being southeastern (Florida, Georgia, North & South Carolina).

This kind of basic analysis helps to quickly identify overall trends, and provides a great foundation to explore and answer further questions that arise.