How important is music education?
Music makes you feel good; it’s as simple as that. In fact, there is even data to back this up. In a 2013 issue of Science, Valorie Salimpoor, a neuroscientist at McGill University in Montreal, reported along with several colleagues, that music triggers activity in the same brain structure that releases the “pleasure chemical” dopamine during eating. Now, you understand why we all crave music the same way we crave food. Not only does music provide pleasure but it also provides many benefits to your mind, intelligence, and behavior.
That is why, many promote music education in schools, and Newzik agrees! Music education helps you develop new skills and many studies have proven that over the past years.
If you want to understand ALL the benefits of music education, read this article.
Let’s draw the long list of the positive impacts of music education…
1. Music education develops critical and creative skills, analytical thinking and spatial intelligence. A musician has more imagination and intellectual curiosity, solves problems faster and can conceive more easily abstract objects as he is used to all that in his daily musical life. He has the tools to grasp advanced mathematics.
2. Test scores are improved with music education. Some studies have proven this, for instance, E. Glenn Schellenberg’s study at the University of Toronto at Mississauga was published in 2004. It found a small increase in the IQs of six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons.
3. Music education helps you memorize better and have better auditory attention.
4. It teaches perfection to students, the music-educated people do not like to give in low-quality work as they don’t like playing their instruments badly.
5. Music education improves your hand-eye coordination and your teamwork skills just like sports do.
6. Music education is challenging but once you’ve succeeded it is very rewarding especially since it teaches you to take risks to achieve your goals.
7. Music increases children’s interest in school and provides a source of relaxation.
8. Music education contributes to intellectual development and discipline, similar to ballet dancers.
9. Check out the scheme below for other valuable benefits
Finally, music education helps you make the most of your brain’s faculties by utilizing the most advanced areas of your brain. Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, teaches a specialized music curriculum for children aged two months to nine years. He says “There’s some good neuroscience research which shows that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training.When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain”.
Anyone can understand, then, how music education provides so many benefits; it can make you smarter, faster, nicer, wiser…
Despite all you gain from music education, its budget is cut in many countries and institutions. That is why many programs are developed to promote music education. I will only focus on three main projects and institutions:
The Berklee Pulse
“The mission of the Berklee PULSE Music Method is to support guided teaching and learning of popular music through the innovative use of interactive online technologies”. This program aims especially to reach underserved 4th to 12th graders across the United States, it is offered to students and teachers as part of the Berklee City Music Network and Amp Up NYC initiative.
The Namm Foundation
« The NAMM Foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs ». The Foundation advocates for music education including through its SupportMusic Coalition. The latter is a program which provides tools and resources to communities so that they progress in music education. Organizations,schools, and businesses have united to make sure music education is supported and accessible to children everywhere. It is also a partnership with the NAfMe (National Association for Music Education).
The NAfME advocates at the federal, state, and local levels to educate elected officials and other key decision-makers about the impact and importance of music education programs.
For example, the NAfME sponsors the Music in Our Schools Month program. It aims to highlight the many benefits of quality music education programs for children in America’s schools.
Many other resources are available trough the Music for all Foundation, for example, you can also learn more about José Abreu’s El Sistema Orchestra.
Confucius once said, « Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without ». Today, people are increasingly realizing that and actions to promote music education are flourishing in every community especially as music education enters the digital revolution.