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The Advantages of Music in Schools

by Patti Richards

Music education in schools opens up a world of opportunity for students. But music in schools does much more than give kids a taste of something beautiful during their school day. According to the Children’s Music Workshop, early music education develops areas of the brain involved with language and reasoning as well as spatial intelligence and problem solving. This can result in higher standardized test scores and an increase in your child’s overall educational performance.

Language Advantages

Early music education increases your child's ability to process and understand language. This can result in an increased understanding of reading, writing and speaking. According to the Music Empowers Foundation, when children learn words in the context of musical expression, their overall reading skills and quality of writing improve. The Music Empowers Foundation also suggests that linking new information in the areas of reading and writing to familiar songs can help imprint that information on the developing brain.

Social Advantages

Music enhances the concept of working together as a team to produce something of quality. When your child learns to work together in a choir or orchestra he begins to value other members of the team and understand how crucial each part is to making a beautiful whole. This type of team work can increase your child's overall social skills as he is called on to learn to communicate with others in the group in positive and productive ways. Students who are in music programs are more cooperative with teachers and their peers, have more self confidence, and are better able to express their ideas.

Academic Advantages

Music education has a direct impact on your child in the area of academics. A study published in 2006 by Christopher Johnson, Professor of Music Education and Music Therapy at the University of Kansas, found that elementary students in schools with superior music programs scored 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math on standardized tests than students in schools with low-quality music programs.

Problem Solving

According to the Children's Music Workshop article "Twelve Benefits of Music Education," there is a causal link between music and the ability to form accurate mental pictures of the world (spatial intelligence). This type of intelligence is the kind necessary for everyday problem solving as well as more complex problem solving needed across the entire school curriculum. Spacial intelligence is as important to everyday activities like packing a backpack with supplies for the day as it is for advanced mathematics.

About the Author

Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.

Photo Credits

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