Today’s post is a guest post from Neve Spicer, Founder and Director of WeTheParents.org. I’m excited to have her here to talk about music education!
It’s always a wonderful time to celebrate the power of music, but on June 21, amateur and professional musicians alike take to streets and parks to celebrate World Music Day. The festival, which is celebrating its 38th anniversary, originated in Paris, France as the Fête de la Musique. The event, which has evolved into a global celebration, offers the perfect moment to pause and reflect on the benefits of music education.
Though music can act as a healing and inspirational force in all lives, it has particularly powerful developmental benefits for children and teenagers. While struggles with self-esteem are a common part of childhood, time spent in music instruction is linked to an improvement in self-esteem. This link is accompanied by a boost in empathy, making kids more able to understand the viewpoints and feelings of their peers.
The benefits extend into the classroom, as well. Spatial-temporal reasoning, which relates to memory and cognitive function, has been shown to increase after engagement in instrumental education. The same can be said for verbal recollection. Studying music has also been correlated with improvements in math, science, history, and English grades, as well as an improvement in standardized test scores and a boost in measured IQ.
Finally, there are also emotional benefits to studying, playing, and listening to music. Playing tunes of their own choosing has been shown to increase feelings of life satisfaction in teens. Learning to play a musical instrument is linked to more rapid maturation of cortical thickness, which helps children to more easily manage their emotions, including anxiety. Studying music has also been linked with a reduction in aggressive behavior in children with behavioral problems.
These are but a few of the ways music helps kids to grow, and each is endorsed by science. This helpful infographic details 17 of the ways that music education is developmentally beneficial, so read on.