Advantage Towards Success in Life
education has the potential to improve your child's future.
Simply put, music enhances the process of learning. It nurtures
the sensory, cognitive, emotional and motor capacities, which
also happen to be the driving force behind all other types of
learning. This has been found to positively effect core subject
like Math and Reading:
in top-quality instrumental programs scored 19% higher in English
than students in schools without a music program, and 32% higher
in English than students in a deficient choral program.
in top-quality instrumental programs scored 17% higher in mathematics
than children in schools without a music program, and 33% higher
in mathematics than students in a deficient choral program.
at schools with excellent music programs had higher English
test scores across the country than students in schools with
low-quality music programs; this was also true when considering
in all regions with lower-quality instrumental programs scored
higher in English and mathematics than students who had no music
* Journal for Research in Music Education, June 2007; Dr. Christopher
Johnson, Jenny Memmott
Solo & ensemble performances can build self confidence. Practice
helps increase a child's ability to work independently and in
teams. Musical composition and sight reading foster creativity
and innovative problem solving. Through balancing rehearsals and
individual practice, children learn the value of self discipline
and time management.
Dr. Laurel Trainor, Prof. of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Behavior
at McMaster University found that young children who take music
lessons show different brain development and improved memory over
the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive
It even affects IQ scores. A study by E. Glenn Schellenberg at
the University of Toronto at Mississauga, as published in a 2004
issue of Psychological Science, found an increase in the IQs of
six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons. /font
An Effective Emotional Outlet
The arts are
a valuable and powerful experience we should not deny our children.
It can broaden their understanding and appreciation of the world
around them. Artistic pursuits enrich the very fabric of our society.
Bigger than Ourselves
Experimenting with music allows children to experience being part
of a greater whole. It helps to give them a place in the world
that other endeavors may not accomplish. It lets them connect
to their inner core and recognize who they are. Music can open
the door for children to pass from school into a world of cultural
and intellectual activity.
Self Control and Cooperation
Musical lessons provide children with a means of self-expression.
They afford children with important developmental benefits beyond
the skill of playing an instrument. A musical education can be
a powerful solution to teenage anxiety, stress and pressure. Students
involved in the arts are more cooperative with their teachers
and peers, have higher levels self-confidence, and are more equipped
to express themselves and their ideas.
helps students learn to work effectively in a school environment
without resorting to violent or inappropriate behavior. In fact,
secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported
the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol,
tobacco, drug abuse). [Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998]
An Increased Focus In School Work
through the discipline of music can crossover to study skills,
communication abilities, and cognitive ability useful in every
part of the curriculum.
Performance and Music
A study in 2006 demonstrated a positive relationship between musical
lessons and IQ scores in 6-11 year olds. The research concluded
that taking music lessons as a child is a reliable predictor of
IQ scores and academic performance in young adulthood. (Schellenberg
EG. 2006. Journal of Educational Psychology 98(2)).
Musical experience improves cognitive abilities such as, reading,
symbolic and spatial reasoning, verbal memory, mathematics, self-esteem,
and general intelligence. The study of music allows children to
visualize various elements that should go together, similar to
when solving a math problems
mastering a musical instrument improves the way the brain breaks
down and understands human language, making music students more
apt to pick up a second language. "The development of language
over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process
music," says Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child
psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. "Musical experience
strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent."
study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced
reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music
lessons. Those who practice a musical instrument are more likely
to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced
critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.
A Healthy Activity with Reduced Chance of Physical
child in musical lessons has many added benefits outside of the
academic realm. It can serve as a boon for a child's mental and
physical health, while avoiding the pitfalls of traditional sports.
Sports-related head injuries can have lingering effects on children.
Researchers from the University of Oregon found that high school
athletes who suffered concussions continued having problems focusing
and switching tasks readily amid distractions two moths after
their injury. ("Sensitive Brain-Testing Methods Reveal Cognitive
Deficits From Concussions Still Present After 2 Months."
Medical News Today)
to researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, nearly
half of all traumatic brain injuries among children in Canada
are caused by ice hockey. Dr. Michael Cusimano and his team gathered
and examined data on the causes of sports-related brain injuries
among Canadian children. (Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl.,
1 Apr. 2013)
Performing music actually exercise the brain - and not merely
by developing specific music skills, but also by strengthening
the synapses between brain cells and creating more neural pathways.
a quick look at what happens in the brain while playing music:
cortex is immediately engaged as it perceives sounds and analyzes
tones. The sensory cortex controls tactile feedback while playing
the instrument. The visual cortex of the brain is involved in
reading music. The prefrontal cortex is actively engaged by controlling
behavior and making decisions.
the connections our brains use to retrieve information. In fact,
musicians have more grey matter in their auditory cortex, the
area of the brain in charge of processing sound.
at the University of Munster in Germany reported their discovery
music lessons in childhood actually enlarge the brain. An area
used to analyze the pitch
of a musical note is enlarged 25% in musicians, compared to people
who have never
played an instrument.
- From Nature, April 23, 1998; Christian Pantev
speak to the brain's plasticity-its ability to change or adapt
in response to experience, environment, or behavior. It also shows
the power of musical training to enhance and build connections
within the brain.
unique about playing an instrument is that it requires a wide
array of brain regions and cognitive functions to work together
simultaneously, in both right and left hemispheres of the brain,"
says Alison Balbag, a professional harpist who began musical training
at the age of five, holds a doctorate in music, and is currently
earning her Ph.D. in gerontology at the University of Southern
Children who receive instrumental music training also develop
fine motor skills. In a study conducted by Dr. Timo Krings, pianists
and non-musicians of the same age and sex were required to perform
complex sequences of finger movements. Their brains were scanned
using a technique called "functional magnetic resource imaging"
(fMRI) which detects the activity levels of brain cells.
were able to make the movements as correctly as the pianists,
but less activity was detected in the pianists' brains. Therefore,
compared to non-musicians, the brains of pianists are more efficient
at making skilled movements. These findings show that musical
training can enhance brain function. [(Weinberger, Norm. "The
Impact of Arts on Learning." MuSICa Research Notes 7, no.
2 (Spring 2000)]
A Creative Skill That Lasts A Lifetime
in childhood provide benefits beyond the ones to be taken advantage
of in youth.
As we age, the boons of a musical education can act as a bulwark
against cognitive decline. "Musical training can have a profound
and lasting impact on the brain, creating additional neural connections
in childhood that last a lifetime and thus help compensate for
cognitive declines later in life," says neuropsychologist
Brenda Hanna-Plady of Emory University in Atlanta.
dedicated in practice and study of music transfer into specific
types of motor control and coordination. For example, each finger
on each hand doing something different, and on wind and brass
instruments using you mouth and breathing. This, along with the
listening and music reading skills that are involved with playing
an instrument contribute to a boost in mental faculties later
Toward The Future
The employers of today, and especially those of tomorrow, are
looking for multi-dimensional workers with a flexible and supple
intellect. A musical education is where these characteristics
can flourish. It focuses on doing as opposed to observing, and
fosters communication and cooperation among students. Musical
performances teach young people to conquer fear and to take risks.
This ability is essential if a child is to fully develop his or
in his book The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition
for Talent, states that:
What we really
need in order to prepare our children for the creative economy
is a comprehensive education, something that takes them from aesthetics
to algebra without pretending that the two are mutually exclusive.
We need to see to it that, from an early age, our entire population
is encouraged to develop its people skills with its multiplication
tables and its creative and entrepreneurial potential with its
fields are crucial for the economic and social success of our
society. Therefore, it is vital that our children find themselves
prepared for the future. They will play the most important roles:
those of our guardians and caretakers.