Why Teach Music - Some Facts
US Dept of Ed – students who report consistently high levels of involvement in instrumental music in the middle and high school years show significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.
College Entrance Examination Board – Students with coursework or experience in music performance and appreciation scored higher than did students with no arts participation.
A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for math and science.
LA Times – “Researchers found that when students listened to a Mozart piano concerto 10-15 min. their spatial reasoning was boosted above having had silence or other music. Some state governors are passing out tapes to new mothers and piping music into public squares. (I have noticed more Bach in stores.) The claim that music affects the brain is well substantiated by brain imaging.” The recent show on PBS named “Musical Instinct and the Brain” shoed this imaging and many more positive aspects of learning music.
Turner Broadcasting – “Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it is important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity.”
So much of our learning is verbal…left-brain. Music nourishes the right side to create a more balanced person.
Giving diversified learners an additional focus to express themselves and show different strengths.
What practical characteristics do we want for our children?
Strength of character, of commitment, of knowledge and of social awareness immediately come to mind.
Successes in life that are individualized and add to self-esteem.
Learning how to assess their work and reach their expectations.
Technical proficiency at varied skills.
Resolve, determination, discipline to complete long range goals.
Expression, enrichment, and moments of ecstasy!
Bringing beauty into the everyday experience.
Notation literacy which helps spatial reasoning, math, and other skills
Life-long understanding of group dynamics
Trust in ones self is developed because of building block accomplishments.
Helping others by providing uplifting moments day to day.
Social experiences which grow meaningful relationships.
For those who enjoy performing, even at varied levels, they get to have this type of experience.
These are all good reasons. But there are so many other reasons why. In the book “Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy”, it is pointed out that having the human ability to be able to create planned music combined with the ability to express emotions and share them with others is a gift special to our species.. How lucky we are!