While we all know there are many benefits to music education, this list may include some points you’ve never really thought about. Consider the benefits, weigh the investment, and see just how rewarding a solid musical education can be.
1. Brain Development
Musical training aids in brain development, specifically in the areas of language and reasoning. Familiar songs, when linked with new information, help to keep the learning fresh in their minds.
2. Problem Solving
Music isn’t math – there isn’t one right answer for the problems they’ll encounter, and there are many ways of looking at a song or a style of music. With the help of a teacher, they can search through all the possible answers for the one that suits them best.
3. Higher Test Scores
Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.
4. Cultural Awareness
A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures (and their own) and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a “me first” attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.
Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
6. Hard Work
In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development.
8. Work Ethic
Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on “doing,” as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.
9. Taking Risks
Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.
10. Enjoy the Knowledge for Life
Music is a skill that will last a lifetime – long past high-school football and video games. A person who invests in music education now will thank themselves in 20 years if they keep practicing, making strides in improvement along the way.
This post has been adapted from TheChildrensMusicWorkshop.com.