Today, American culture experiences music in theater, television, movies, worship, and celebrations. Additionally, music is also used with children. From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact. Parents can continue to build these natural instincts by learning how music can impact child development, improve social skills, and benefit kids of all ages. Parents can encourage the learning of music to develop school-age children further.
Research has found that learning music aids learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation.
The focus today will be on how music helps children in school. The benefits of music lessons in school age children are listed below.
Greater Brain Function
Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a non-musician. In fact, a study led by Ellen Winner and Gottfried Schlaug found enhanced brain images in children who underwent 15 months of weekly music instruction and practice. The students in the study who received music instruction had improved sound discrimination and fine motor tasks, and brain imaging showed changes to the networks in the brain associated with those abilities.
Increased Spatial-Temporal Skills
Research has also found a causal link between music and spatial intelligence, which means that understanding music can help children visualize various elements that should go together and form mental pictures; like they would do when solving a math problem. These skills come into play in solving multistep problems one would encounter in architecture, engineering, advanced mathematics, art, gaming, and especially working with computers.
Improved Test Scores
Music training can also mean better concentration skills and memory recall; which can greatly improve test scores. A study published in 2007 revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs. In addition, students who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SAT. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math for students in music appreciation courses.
Greater Impulse Control
In their book, “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain,” neuroscientists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang claim that playing music helps children develop impulse control; which is one of the best predictors of academic achievement and adult success. From mastering fine motor skills to patiently learning to play chords, children who participate in music education learn to patiently work on a skill. This skill helps students understand that regular, diligent practice is key for achievement and this helps them to develop the study skills and diligence they need to excel in school.
In summary, it can be seen that there are many advantages to learning music. Having a school-age child learn music can greatly improve many aspects of their learning experience in all aspects of their lives. Get your kids involved in music at OSMD on 144th and Dodge in West Omaha!! Check out our website today! www.omahaschoolofmusicanddance.com.