Due to the tight budgets that states and counties often have to work with when it comes to their public schools, they are often forced to cut programs. Unfortunately, some of the cuts that are made are not the best choices, as the students often suffer from missing out on a vital piece of their education. While it is true that the subjects that most experts and educators consider to be the core knowledge courses are not removed; there are others that are sacrificed in the name of saving money. However, studies have shown that when children are encouraged and exposed to music on a regular basis in their curriculum, they experience a multitude of benefits.
First, those who are encouraged to study or play music, show a corresponding growth in their ability to master language and reasoning tasks. The parts of the brain that handle mathematics and reasoning are the same that are involved when exposed to music or learning to play an instrument. Music is mathematical in nature and children excel in both when they are consistently immersed in music. They also show improvements in memory retention and in pattern recognition as these are vital brain functions when music is played or listened to regularly.
Students who play an instrument also develop better coordination and have stronger auditory skills. They can more readily infer the meaning behind such sounds as a baby’s cries and can respond appropriately due to these heightened auditory abilities. This is also useful for determining when a piece of music is played correctly and allows them to correct themselves when it is not up to par.
Researchers have discovered that students who study and play music also experience stronger emotional development and have more affinity and compassion for others. Furthermore, students do better in social settings and tend to higher levels of self-esteem. Children are also shown to do better academically and experience less anxiety in most situations.
Music also helps children grow in discipline and achieve higher scores on SATs. They may also be better prepared for creative thinking in the changing job markets. Music encourages curiosity and imaginative problem-solving.
Children who are learning an instrument also learn how to work cooperatively such as is required in bands and orchestras. These students also learn to risk failure more often while learning that it builds a sense of accomplishment when they successfully perform a complex piece of music.
Music enables children to learn how to relax and manage stress through the release that comes through this art form. Overall, students who are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument tend to experience more success in many aspects of life. It is not an extra that could or should be removed based on budget constraints. Instead, it enriches lives and brings more peace and harmony to society at large. In fact, there are several European countries that make music an integral part of early childhood education. So, hopefully the beat will go on in future generations.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.