The subject of music education has been debated between teachers and administrators for years.
Many school officials see it as an unnecessary expense, but studies have shown that learning music has immense effects on a child’s developing mind.
Every day, more and more schools are cutting out their musical budgets and ditching Mrs. Smith’s “Music 101” for standardized tests and an increasingly restricted curriculum.
But what does this do to the students? Some say this makes students experience a lack of creativity and a lack of wanting to engage in their studies. They might feel constricted in a narrow box.
Students should be allowed to be interested in both the arts and STEM. Art is what flows through our cultures and is passed down from generation to generation.
Music has been used all throughout history to tell stories. To tell stories of people and their lives. To express emotions and even share customs. Why is this something schools want to irradicate?
The following points illustrate why music education is vital in today’s schools. We’ve compiled four reasons, but it’s important to note that there are many more out there!
4 Reasons Why Music Should be Taught in Schools
Learned Coordination and Social Skills
One of the biggest benefits of music education is social education. When a student learns how to play an instrument or sing, their hand-eye coordination and auditory response will improve.
Reading music takes skill, and executing that music into an instrument requires a demonstration of that skill. By including music education in a school’s curriculum, students will be able to improve their coordination in ways they can’t normally.
While a child may not normally tap their hands to a rhythm, a percussion lesson will have them using that center of their brain.
Music education also teaches teamwork. While music encourages individuality and expression, it also requires children to work together to achieve a goal. If students don’t learn how to work as a team, the choir or orchestra won’t sound good during a performance.
Music education teaches to listen to the people around them to create a cohesive whole, which translates to the outside world.
Something as simple as including easy piano songs for beginners in a classroom setting can have a massive social impact on these young lives.
Improved Academic Abilities
Another reason to teach music in schools is that it improves academic abilities. Studies have shown that learning how to play music has a direct correlation with higher cognitive abilities.
Students who have access to music education are proven to have improved memory and processing ability due to music’s effects on the brain.
When someone is trained to read music, multiple centers of their brain become active. This rapid activity strengthens the connections between synapses, improving processing speed and memory.
Even in dementia patients, music can unlock memories that have been lost to time.
When it comes to classroom behavior, including a music class can make a difference for the better. Schools that have music classes have a lower dropout rate on average than those that don’t.
By giving students a class they can look forward to, they can invest in their mental health as well as their academic success. Additionally, these schools often have a greater attendance rate for their students.
Because the children are being emotionally recharged by their music class, they are more likely to stay in school and make it to graduation. By including music education, schools can improve their yearly graduation rates and invest in their students.
Create Lifelong Bonds
Additionally, music education in schools has the opportunity to create bonds that can last a lifetime!
Being in school can be a rough time mentally for students. Having a support system and friend group is so important, and it’s even better when all of the friends have something in common.
Through school programs like band or choir, students will inevitably meet others who share the same passions. They automatically have something to talk about!
Not only does music help create friendships but it also encourages diversity. Music is often very closely connected to cultural ties, and when students get together to share music, their culture is also shared.
This allows students to become more knowledgeable about other cultures and be more open and accepting.
Enhanced Emotional Processing
Finally, music education has immense emotional benefits for students. When music is played, the brain releases hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol, all of which produce “warm and fuzzy” feelings in the body.
These positive feelings can fight off stress and hypertension which can eventually lead to mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
The life of a modern child or teenager is more stressful than ever before, which makes managing tension crucial to the health of a developing mind. By including music education in schools, students can have access to some much-needed stress relief in the middle of their day.
Along similar lines, learning how to read music also helps students recognize patterns. Not only will they be able to see and hear physical patterns, but they’ll be able to recognize patterns in their emotional state.
This pattern recognition allows young people to be incredibly emotionally literate, which improves kindness, teamwork, and communication skills.
By learning how to see the patterns in their own feelings, students will be able to recognize when they need help or support, helping to prevent emotional crises from ever happening.
This emotional literacy is vital in today’s world, as it will help produce more mature and capable adults. Keeping music education in schools will not only help children excel academically, but it’ll help them reduce stress and succeed emotionally.
Emotional trauma in kids can certainly cause irreparable wounds in their minds and hearts, but music is a way to work through those scary feelings.
They can express themselves through music, working out the knots of their traumas. Students can also recognize the feelings of others by listening to their music. It becomes a sort of therapy for the student.
To sum things up, music education is a vital part of any school’s curriculum.
While it has marked effects on a child’s cognitive development, it can also improve their emotional response, making them a more complete and rounded person. Adding music to a school day is essential.
It is essential not only for these reasons but for the sheer fact that we must have a healthy balance between STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and the arts.
How can we fully appreciate the world we live in without art? We need creative students just as much as we need logical ones. In a perfect world, schools would be able to incorporate both into a curriculum.
Musical education greatly impacts students’ mental health, learning abilities, and social skills. It improves their coordination and it teaches them important lessons on work ethic.
It is definitely a domino effect for the better, and with music, students can learn more about each other and themselves. When music is instilled at a young age, students are more successful in the long run.
We need to ensure a safe educational environment for students. By incorporating music into their curriculum, we are doing so. We are creating a safe and welcoming environment to appreciate life!