When educational cuts are made, music and art are amongst the first subjects to go. Unfortunately, it means that parents, educators and even board members are overlooking each subject`s importance. Music education is more than just introducing students to beats, notes and songs. Instead, it completely transforms a child`s mind and opens up endless possibilities to their learning potential.
One of the most notable studies on music and the brain, the Mozart Effect, began as a college research experiment. College students were given the chance to listen to ten minutes of a piano sonata before completing a test. The assessment involved tasks such as finding the patterns in both numbers and objects. The result showed that with just ten minutes of music, their skills were improved greatly.
After seeing these results, the study was extended to pre-schoolers. Some were given the opportunity to listen to ten minutes of similar music before completing a puzzle. Again, those listening to music before the task tended to perform better. Each of these examples suggests that music can have a direct effect on a person`s learning.
These studies are not unusual. Several studies and surveys have demonstrated that students` academic scores in subjects, such as math, were greatly improved when they were able to participate in some form of music education program. In other subjects, it was noted that students are less likely to draw conclusions that were completely unfounded.
While listening to music is beneficial, music education provides even more benefits to students. The ear is not the only part of the body used in music class. From tapping out patterns of sounds with their hands to testing out an instrument, students are working on hand-eye coordination. This becomes even more pronounced as students look to read music and perform the notes with various instruments.
While there are several different subjects offered in school, few can compete with the creative element offered by music education. Students have an outlet in which they can express themselves. They can relate to the words, notes or instruments they are experiencing. Many teachers, students and parents would admit that music, along with the traditional means of education, gives a good feeling they carry with them throughout the day.
Besides academics and specific subjects, students with music education tend to completely change their outlook on education, learning and their own performance. They see the experience as more beneficial and even see themselves as more successful because of their newfound skills. In one study, students who worked on a musical instrument were less of a discipline issue than those that did not.
With all the evidence pointing to the benefits of music education, it is difficult to see why this subject continues to be downplayed and in some cases completely removed from education today. If you, or someone you know, is looking into musical education as a college major, consult a college advice blog to get the latest information on your options as an educator and advocate for music.