More Than Just Music
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.
“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you smarter, but it’s a very integrating, stimulating pastime or activity,” Guilmartin says.
Music Education: The Facts
Music Training at Early Age Wires Brains to Learn.
1. In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems.
- Americans Love Making Music – And Value Music Education More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference, 2000.
2. Students who can perform complex rhythms can also make faster and more precise corrections in many academic and physical situations, according to the Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills.
- Rhythm seen as key to music’s evolutionary role in human intellectual development, Center for Timing, Coordination, and Motor Skills, 2000.
3. A ten-year study indicates that students who study music achieve higher test scores, regardless of socioeconomic background.
- Dr. James Catterall, UCLA.
4. A 1997 study of elementary students in an arts-based program concluded that students’ math test scores rose as their time in arts education classes increased.
- “Arts Exposure and Class Performance,” Phi Delta Kappan, October, 1998.
5. First-grade students who had daily music instruction scored higher on creativity tests than a control group without music instruction.
- K.L. Wolff, The Effects of General Music Education on the Academic Achievement, Perceptual-Motor Development, Creative Thinking, and School Attendance of First-Grade Children, 1992.
6. Students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence and coordinate actions into their daily lives. -"Cassily Column, " TCAMS Professional Resource Center.
7. College Adminitions officers continue to cite participation in music as an important factor in making admissions decisions. They claim that music participation demonstrates time management, creativity, expression and open-mindedness. - Carl Hartman, "Arts May Improve Students' Grades," Associated Press, October 1999.
8. A Columbia University study, students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident, and better able to express their ideas. These benefits exist across socioeconomic levels. -The Arts Education Partnership, 1999.
9. According to a 1991 study, students in schools with arts-focused curriculum reported significantly more positive perceptions about their academic abilities than students in a comparison group. --Pamela Aschbacher and Joan Herman, The Humanitas Program Evaluation, 1991.
10. In a 2000 survey, 73 percent of respondents agree that teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems. - Americans Love Making Music And Value Music Educations More Highly Than Ever, American Music Conference.