“The true purpose of arts education is not necessarily to create more professional dancers or artists. It’s to create more complete human beings who are critical thinkers, who have curious minds, who can lead productive lives.” — Kelly Pollock
More Than Music
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. Language development, increased IQ, improved spatial-temporal skills and more are all outcomes of an education that includes the arts. The effects of music education has been described as a “full-body brain workout,” engaging multiple networks that are responsible for decision making and focus.
Music enriches student’s lives and education, empowering them with skills that last a lifetime. The National Association for Music Education identifies the following benefits of music education for young people:
1. 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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Better self-confidence and responsible risk taking: Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.
Despite proven benefits, many youth with musical potential lack the chance to experience the arts due to financial need, lack of resources, and personal challenges. About 1 in 3 parents report their child receives one year or less of music education. While 1 in 6 parents report their child receives no music education at their school. Even with music education in schools, barriers exist that can keep students from engaging in music: cost of instrument rental, cost of music, cost of lessons. The Farina Foundation embraces the benefits of music education for children in need by removing such barriers and providing access to music.
Information taken from:
NAfEME: 20 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools
PBS: The Benefits of Music Education
TEDEd: How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain
Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K-12 Music Education in the United States 2015