In Part 1 of this blog series, we focused on the aspects of music lessons which will increase a child’s success in society at large. Today we will look at how music lessons have statistically been shown to increase a child’s success in academics and school in general.
Of course, most people would agree that in order to be successful in society, one must have some measure of success at school. There are certainly exceptions, but by and large those who succeed at one thing will succeed at another. Music lessons come in to play by helping children succeed academically.
The discipline required to learn a musical instrument is something which naturally transfers to other areas of life, such as schoolwork. Not only discipline, but the ability to think abstractly, the concept of a “story” as it relates to music and subsequently to schoolwork and more generally to life, are skills which help a child make sense of their existence and find purpose in their life.
Another aspect of music lessons which are helpful to kids is that they teach basic communication skills. Lessons are typically done on a weekly basis, with a friendship and mentor-ship being developed between the student and the teacher. As well as music lessons, most children who learn an instrument will play in a school band or ensemble. These experiences will help the child learn teamwork, resolve conflicts peacefully, and enjoy the academic environment more as a result.
According to Amy Graziano, who helped conduct a study which was published in the Journal of Neurological Research (March 1991), “A study of 237 second grade children used piano keyboard training and newly designed math software to demonstrate improvement in math skills. The group scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children that used only the math software.”
In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS:88, National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.”
Students with experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. — College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The College Entrance Examination Board, 2001.
These are just a few studies which demonstrate what most people know intuitively: Music is good for the brain. Music and musical expression are fundamental parts of what it means to be human. Our brains are operating at a very natural place when we are listening to, playing, or composing music. Music lessons will help your child succeed in academics and every other area of life having to do with thinking.
The Musicality Network is a Portland, Oregon based network of private music teachers, teaching a wide variety of instruments including Piano lessons, Guitar lessons, Drum lessons, Violin lessons, Voice lessons, and more! Our teachers can drive to your house, and we service the entire Portland Metro Area, including Vancouver, Clackamas, Troutdale, Gresham, Tigard, Beaverton, Tualatin, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Oregon City and more!
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