Why Study Music?
Musicians’ Brains Really Do Work Differently – In A Good Way
NPR – “Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain?”
That’s the launching point for a fantastic little video made by educator Anita Collins and animator Sharon Colman Graham for TED-Ed. What they explain is that while listening to music is beneficial, playing music is “the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.”
College Admissions Officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participate demonstrates time management, creativity, expression, and open-mindedness. Carl Hartman, “Arts May Improve Students’ Grades” A study of Elementary students in an arts-based program concluded that student’s math test scores rose as their time in arts education classes increased. “Arts Exposure and Creative Performance”, Phi Beta Kappan “Music is one of the six basic academic subject areas students should study in order to succeed in college” – The College Board
“A ten year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores regardless of socioeconomic background” Dr. James Catterall, UCLA A two-year Swiss study involving 1,200 children in 50 schools showed that students involved in the music program were better at languages, learned to read more easily, showed an improved social climate, demonstrated more enjoyment in school, and had a lower stress level than non-music students. — E.W. Weber, M. Spychiger, and J.L. Patry, 1993.
Research shows when the arts are included in a student’s curriculum, reading, writing, and math scores improve.
– J. Buchen Milley, A. Oderlund, and J. Mortarotti, “The Arts: An Essential Ingredient in Education,” The California Council of the Fine Arts Deans.
In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems. – Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.
Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills – “Rhythm seen as key to music’s evolutionary role in human intellectual development”, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000. - K.L. Wolff, “The Effects of General Music Education on the Academeic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children”, 1992.
In a Scottish study, one group of elementary students received musical training, while another other group received an equal amount of discussion skills training. After six (6) months, the students in the music group achieved a significant increase in reading test scores, while the reading test scores of the discussion skills group did not change. – Sheila Douglas and Peter Willatts, Journal of Research in Reading, 1994.
According to a 1991 study, students in schools with an arts-focused curriculum reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group. – Pamela Aschbacher and Joan Herman, The Humanitas Program Evaluation, 1991.
Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives.
– “Cassily Column,” TCAMS Professional Resource Center, 2000.
In a 1999 Columbia University study, students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels.
- The Arts Education Partnership, 1999.
First-grade students who had daily music instruction scored higher on creativity tests than a control group without music instruction. — K.L. Wolff, The Effects of General Music Education on the Academeic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children, 1992