Most Musical US Presidents: Musical Talent in the White House

We know that an arts education yields more well-rounded students, and many studies have been done to confirm a direct between high academic achievement and exposure to the fine and performing arts.

CASE IN POINT – some statistics were just released in the past few days based on SAT scores from students in Texas. Texas All-State musicians display superior testing performance when compared to other Texas students that do not focus on the arts:

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Special thanks to Evan VanDoren from VanDoren Music for the share 


But DID YOU KNOW – some of our country’s Presidents studied music, and a few were actually pretty good at it?


Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826) Third president of the United States, drafted the Declaration of Independence, and played the Violin & Cello.


John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848) The sixth president of the United States formulated the Monroe Doctrine, and played the Flute.


John Tyler (1790-1862) The tenth president of the United States was the first Vice President to be elevated to the office of President by the death of his predecessor, played the violin.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) The sixteenth president of the United States issued the Emancipation Proclamation and played the Violin.


Chester Alan Arthur (1829 – 1886) Became the 21st president of the United States following the assassination of President James A. Garfield. He played the Banjo.


Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) The 32nd President of the United States and the fifth cousin to President Theodore Roosevelt, played the piano and sang soprano in his school choir.


Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) The 28th president of the United States and creator of the League of Nations, played the Violin and sang tenor in his college glee club.


Warren Harding (1865-1923) The 29th president of the United States organized the Citizen’s Cornet Band, available for both Republican and Democratic rallies. He once remarked that, “I played every instrument but the slide trombone and the E-flat cornet.”


Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) The 30th president of the United States was determined to preserve old moral and economic precepts amid American prosperity. He played the harmonica.


Harry Truman (1884 – 1972) The 33rd president of the United States who served during the conclusion of World War II, played the Piano.




Richard Nixon (1913 – 1994) The 37th president of the United States, who ended American fighting in Viet Nam and later resigned from office in the aftermath of the Watergate Scandal, was a classically-trained pianist and also played the accordion.


Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) The 40th president of the United States implemented the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He played the harmonica.


Bill Clinton (born 1946) The 42nd president of the United States and the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win a second term, plays the saxophone.


Thanks to the National Association for Music Education for the above list. 


We know that an arts education creates opportunities for students to expand thinking, expression, and growth in all areas. 

If your program is looking for growth IN YOUR BUDGETS, you should explore FansRaise. We are helping hundreds of organizations around the United States grow programs and provide students the right resources to be successful.



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