Whether your child is the next Beyonce or more likely to sing her solos in the shower, she is bound to benefit from some form of music education. Research shows that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.
Research has found that learning music facilitates 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, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.
Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles, says Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of Music Together, an early childhood music development program for infants through kindergarteners that involves parents or caregivers in the classes.
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Children exposed to a multi-year programme of music tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers, according to a study published in the journal Psychology of Music.
According to authors Joseph M Piro and Camilo Ortiz from Long Island University, USA, data from this study will help to clarify the role of music study on cognition and shed light on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy.
Studying children the two US elementary schools, one of which routinely trained children in music and one that did not, Piro and Ortiz aimed to investigate the hypothesis that children who have received keyboard instruction as part of a music curriculum increasing in difficulty over successive years would demonstrate significantly better performance on measures of vocabulary and verbal sequencing than students who did not receive keyboard instruction.
Several studies have reported positive associations between music education and increased abilities in non-musical (eg, linguistic, mathematical, and spatial) domains in children. The authors say there are similarities in the way that individuals interpret music and language and “because neural response to music is a widely distributed system within the brain…. it would not be unreasonable to expect that some processing networks for music and language behaviors, namely reading, located in both hemispheres of the brain would overlap.”
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A 10 year study involving 25,000 students show that music-making improves test scores in standardized tests, as well as in reading proficiency exams (Source: James Catterall, UCLA, 1997).
High school music students score higher on the math and verbal portion of SAT, compared to their peers (Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators Conference, 2001).
The IQ's of young students who had nine months of weekly training in piano or voice rose nearly three points more than their untrained peers (Study by E. Glenn Schellenberg, of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, 2004.)
Piano students can understand mathematical and scientific concepts more readily. Children who received piano training performed 34 percent higher on tests measuring proportional reasoning – ratios, fractions, proportions, and thinking in space and time (Neurological Research, 1997).
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The following quotes were found at www.menc.org/supportmusic_cases
"Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it's important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity." Ted Turner on Music Education
"We know that children who learn music are better equipped for success in life. Music education enriches children's lives by helping them develop a sharp mind, abstract reasoning skills, and self-confidence as they grow into adults. Along with giving children a positive outlet for their energy, music education helps keep our young people on track, out of trouble and in school. Music education is an invaluable and essential part of education for young people, and investing in it is good for our kids, our schools, and our communities." U.S. Senator John Kerry on Music Education
To put it simply, we need to keep the arts in education because they instill in students the habits of mind that last a lifetime: critical analysis skills, the ability to deal with ambiguity and to solve problems, perseverance and a drive for excellence. Moreover, the creative skills children develop through the arts carry them toward new ideas, new experiences, and new challenges, not to mention personal satisfaction. This is the intrinsic value of the arts, and it cannot be overestimated. Intrinsic Value of the Arts
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Lori Smith's Bracelets made from recycled drum snares and guitar strings (bass strings coming soon) with wire wrap and charms, guitar pick, or crystal/bead accents with 50% of sales to benefit Play It Forward STL