Music isn’t just good to listen to at concerts – it can also be life-changing and academically enriching for students. Music is the only language that everyone understands. No matter what culture or location, everyone recognizes and responds to some kind of music or other. It makes us creative and triggers our emotions. It is also an important part of education in the arts.
I strongly believe music should be established as a permanent lesson in schools. Why? Well, that’s what I’ll set out to do in this article. I will list the many benefits of making music a permanent part of education. By the end, you will see that it was never about whether we should make it a permanent fixture in education or not, but why we would have it any other way to begin with.
The Educational Benefits of Music
It Makes Students Better at Language
Music is deeply connected to language in profound ways. Much research has been done in this area and it has been found that musical instruction promotes better language development in toddlers.
As it turns out, musical instruction stimulates those exact same parts of the brain that are responsible for learning language. Children who are exposed to music education at a young age, therefore, tend to have greater mastery of the different aspects of speech and a better aptitude for understanding tone in conversation. Musical instruction can especially be good for children learning a second language.
It Improves Students’ Cognitive Abilities
Learning to play a musical instrument forces a child to use more of their neurons and forge connections that strengthen their neural networks. In fact, there is growing evidence that those who play music have greater neural activity than those who don’t. A recent study showed that children who learned music were better at fine motor tasks and discriminating between sounds. Brain imaging scans showed visible positive changes in their neural networks.
It makes students better at math
Children who receive music instruction also do better at mathematics. There is a link between being good at music and having better spatial-temporal capabilities. This connection is what makes musically educated children better at mathematics. There are many theories out there that try to explain this, though one of the most popular ones is that it has something to do with rhythm. At their heart, both music and mathematics are about pattern and finding harmonious elements that go well together.
Students perform better in tests
This directly ties to the point above. Students who are better at mathematics tend to perform better on most tests. A University of Kansas study found that students who learned music performed better in math and English tests than those who didn’t. This was true even when socioeconomic factors were controlled for.
It makes students more creative
Music is a creative undertaking in its own right, and so stimulates creativity in the person. If you teach a child music, they will see a boost in their creativity, which they can transfer to other areas. I’m not a student and even I can acknowledge the creativity boost I get for my CV writing service, jut by listening to music while I work. Even if they don’t, they might be inspired to create their own music based off of what they’ve learned.
It Improves Memory
Music is well-known to improve memory in learners, which is a great benefit for their education. When you learn to read musical language, or play an instrument, or even the lyrics to a song, you are flexing your memory in each of these cases. You’re working the muscles you will need in other areas of your life. Music also happens to be very easy to store in your memory. We get earworms – songs we can’t stop singing to – all the time. This shows just how sticky music is, and the wonders it can do for your ability to recall.
Music Encourages Students to Work Together
Music isn’t always a solo endeavor. When children learn music in school, they learn it together. They do it with their fellow students in class. They perform duets and play in orchestras. They form bands and make music together. When making music together, you must be able to work in a team and make harmony. Music is one of the best ways to foster teamwork in otherwise very different people.
Music Relieves Stress
School can be stressful for children, especially when exam season comes around. Music can help relieve some of that stress. Research shows that music at 60 beats per minute synchronizes with the brain’s alpha waves, which are linked to relaxation. Listening to music at this tempo for just 45 minutes can even induce sleep. What better way to end a long and stressful day at school than to lean back and listen to some music. You can even get an assignment writing service to help you meet your deadlines. That way, you get to really let your mind go and relax.
As you can see, music has numerous benefits for children, and the ones listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. By making it a permanent part of our education system, we can spread these benefits to many children, and improve their experience of their formative years.
John Peterson is a journalist with 4 years’ experience working for London magazine “Shop&Buy”. He is a professional mini-tennis player and has written a novel, “His Heart”. You can find him on FB.