by Sophia Hammond
Along with the arts and physical education, music is one of the programs most likely to be cut when school budgets decline. According to the American Public Broadcast System, however, this could be a major mistake. While the benefits of music education may not be as obvious as those of English or science courses, they are still present and tangible.
Music has been shown to help students learn more effectively in other areas. That means that a child who receives music theory education may have an easier time learning mathematics. Music lessons can also help kids develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor control, and attention skills. Even simply being exposed to music can improve the learning environment and help children get more out of their schooling.
Kids between the ages of two and nine learn languages more quickly when they grow up in a musically-rich environment. Other research suggests that kindergarten-age children who receive weekly music lessons tend to have a higher IQ. This may be due to the fact that taking guitar lessons or receiving other music education causes the brain to work harder and more effectively. This leads to better test scores, increased spatial intelligence, and many other benefits.
In interviews conducted by the Toronto Star, graduates of the school system noted that they looked forward to music education and that it benefited them in many different ways. Many had not previously been aware that music was a legitimate career or field of study, but after their coursework they went on to develop a range of music careers.
Unfortunately, music studies are being targeted even more widely as school budgets decrease in the United States, Canada and other countries. Removing these programs decreases creativity and cuts out an important element in students’ education. It also limits the experience of playing music only to students who can already afford private lessons outside of normal school hours.
For a society that is genuinely invested in giving its younger members a full and useful education, music programs are more than just an optional extra. They’re an essential part of developing young minds and helping them experience their full range of options for the future.
Sophia Hammond is a singer-songwriter in the L.A. area and enjoys writing guest posts about music, and especially about music education because she picked up her passion for music in school and experienced how much good it can do.
You can follow her at twitter.com/Sophia_Hammond