The importance of music in schools

Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. Read on to learn why music education is so important, and how it offers benefits even beyond itself.

1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.

2. A mastery of memorisation: Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. This can serve students well in education and beyond.

3. Students learn to improve their work: Learning music promotes craftsmanship, and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work. This desire can be applied to all subjects of study.

4. Increased coordination: Students who practise with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.

5. A sense of achievement: Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.

6. Children stay engaged in school: An enjoyable subject like music can keep children interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects.

7. Emotional development: Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures. They also tend to have higher self-esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.

8. Students learn pattern recognition: Children can develop their maths and pattern-recognition skills with the help of musical education. Playing music offers repetition in a fun format.

9. Music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity: Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.

10. Music can be relaxing: Students can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping children relax.

11. Musical instruments can teach discipline: Children who learn to play an instrument can learn a valuable lesson in discipline. They will have to set time aside to practise and rise to the challenge of learning with discipline to master playing their instrument.

12. Preparation for the creative economy: Investing in creative education can prepare students for the 21st century workforce. The new economy has created more artistic careers, and these jobs may grow faster than others in the future.

13. Development in creative thinking: Children who study the arts can learn to think creatively. This kind of education can help them solve problems by thinking outside the box and realising that there may be more than one right answer.

14. Children can learn teamwork: Many musical education programmes require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.

15. Better self-confidence: With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to help develop better communication skills.

This is an edited extract from the National Association for Music Education, originally published online at www.bachelorsdegree.org.

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