Music is something with affects the mind, body and spirit, but yet its importance is often underrated, especially when it comes to the educational benefits of which there are many. With the ability to influence behaviour, social skills, sensitivity and general achievement, music can have positive effects on many aspects of life.
In children, music education is important as it promotes a desire to persevere and succeed, as well as having a whole range of other benefits. There is some evidence to suggest that through involvement with music, children have the opportunity to fine-tune their listening skills and consequently their comprehension. Both skills can be applied to other academic subjects and can help students with problem-solving and concentration. Music uses both sides of the brain, so any participation will enhance learning and challenge the mind.
Apart from the mental benefits, music has many positive physical effects. By playing an instrument the musician is encouraged to develop fine motor skills and excellent hand-eye coordination as well as the ability to be precise. Some instruments also require a level of exertion which can help vital organs to work as they should, while muscles can be strengthened too.
Music is flexible and versatile. Playing can be a solitary pursuit, but can also be a group activity which encourages a level of social interaction and team-building. It can teach people the importance of working as an individual or as part of a team, which is an important life skill and one which translates well to the workplace.
Those who play instruments typically dedicate time to practice and developing their creativity and this helps increase organisational skills and perseverance. Those involved in choirs, bands and orchestras learn the importance of playing their part in a project and also realise the need for time management, being reliable and turn-taking.
Of course not everyone is academic and music can be an outlet for many emotions including contentment, frustration, anger, joy and fulfilment. By expressing one`s self through the music, a sense of self-esteem is developed and a degree of self-belief fostered, especially in those who may struggle socially or academically.
Babies enjoy music and may have their first taste at a music class, or through something as simple as shaking a rattle or banging a saucepan with a spoon! This ability to create a sequence of different noises progresses at primary school level when children may learn a simple instrument such as the recorder.
For those with an aptitude or interest in the field of music, there is vast scope for development from this point, when the option of studying a specific instrument becomes available. Of course those looking to create a career related to music will find higher education and university level courses which not only examine the practical side, but also delve into the history as well as areas like related psychology, physiology and cultural contexts.
Whether choosing to study music, or simply by playing an instrument as a hobby, music has huge educational benefits. From performing on the big Boxoffice theatre stage to examining the many facets of music, there is a part of this fascinating subject to appeal to most people and which can have far reaching effects on the development of a person, their character and career choices.