In order to succeed, children need a well-rounded education that includes the arts among other core subjects, i.e. STEAM. With this in mind, it’s important for parents to consider the overall value of music education in terms of growth, learning, and establishing an appreciation for both the arts and working towards a larger goal. If you’re a parent looking for ways to help your children reach their full potential, here’s some insight into why music lessons are a great option.
Understanding the Importance of Music Education for Children
How Do Music Lessons Positively Impact Children?
Music education is so much more than a creative outlet or extracurricular activity. In fact, studies have shown that embracing music lessons and a passion for singing or learning instruments has a direct impact on overall academic success. Benefits for musically inclined students who practice well generally include higher test scores, better grades, stronger attendance, less disciplinary issues, and team-building skills.
Why Should Parents Stress Music Education as Part of Development?
Parents want their children to thrive. By embracing music education, your children will develop life-long learning skills, such as improving focus, concentration, self-discipline, critical thinking, self-esteem, and confidence. Additionally, the sense of accomplishment that comes from learning a new piece or participating in a music recital can help your children establish a passion for learning and achieving long-term benefits in all areas of life.
Music training helps develop language skills. Studies have shown that music training contributes to the physical development of the part of the left side of the brain associated with processing language. A 2005 study from researchers at Stanford University found that mastering a musical instrument may also improve reading skills, which can benefit students both inside and outside the classroom.
Music training can improve hand-eye coordination. Studies have linked long-term music training to improved hand-eye coordination. That is likely connected to the motor skills children develop when playing musical instruments. Without those instruments, those motor skills may not develop as strongly.
Music improves concentration. Even students who cannot play a musical instrument can still benefit academically from simply listening to music. In 2007, a research team from the Stanford University School of Medicine found that music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention. Today’s students deal with numerous distractions, from smartphones to tablets to social media, but those who routinely listen to certain types of music might find it easier to block out those distractions and focus on their work.
Music can help students’ emotional development. A 2003 study commissioned by Chorus America found musicians are more likely than the average person to be involved in charity work as volunteers and donors. The NAfME also notes that music students may be more likely to exhibit empathy toward other cultures.
Music can improve self-esteem. In a study examining 117 fourth grade students attending public school in Montreal, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin found that children who received piano lessons weekly for three years had higher self-esteem than children who were not given piano lessons during the same period. Neither group had participated in formal music instruction before the study, and students in both groups reported similar levels of self-esteem prior to participating in the study.
Music education can enrich the lives of young students in a myriad of ways, potentially contributing to happier, more fulfilling lives.