MATRIX Center for Music, Youth & Community Events,
Melody4Charity & Craig LiaBraaten Present:
CURRENT RESEARCH INDICATES
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING --
YOUR BENEFITS OF MUSIC LESSONS INCLUDE:
- Here is some of the wonderful research that has been done to show the tremendous benefits of music lessons for young people
- By means of music, we can assist children to come to maturity in many ways. "Music confers non-musical benefits that have particular consequences for pupils with special needs. Music contributes to: reasoning ability, reading skills, feelings and response, personal fulfillment, language development, the promotion of communication, motor control and physical well-being, positive attitudes to school, socializing and pleasurable experiences in a group" (From Walker, A. (1996). And Ear For Music. In J. Piotrowski (ed.), Expressive Arts In The Primary School (pp. 38-48). London: Cassell.)
- Social Skills are the foundation for getting along with others. A lack of Social Skills can lead to behavioral difficulties in school, delinquency, inattentiveness, peer rejection, emotional difficulties, bullying, difficulty in making friends, aggressiveness, problems in interpersonal relationships, poor self-concept, academic failures, concentration difficulties, isolation from peers, and depression. Children often need additional training in Social Skills, and music helps immensely.
- Research indicates that listening to and creating music develops better auditory processing and communication skills. Music also helps those with difficulties in regulation mood and frustration levels due to processing difficulties. Researchers have found that the musical portion of the brain is frequently unimpaired in children with learning disabilities. In all children, there is a direct correlation between the musical portion of the brain and the language area in the opposite hemisphere in children. Filtered and gaited musical sound patterns can lead to a better understanding of language sound patterns. Therefore music instruction ultimately will translate into better communication skills. These social skills include daily interaction skills such as sharing, taking turns, and allowing others to talk without interrupting. The category of social skills can also be expanded to facets of self-control such as appropriate anger management. For many children, social skills are learned by observing how others in their environment handle social situations.
- Music lessons have lifelong value for both children and adults. Learning to play an instrument helps improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Practicing helps children learn to focus and organize their days, improves abstract thinking ability, and enhances aural, tactile, visual and analytical memory. These skills can translate into higher academic performance. Just 15 minutes a week of private keyboard instruction, along with group singing at pre-school, dramatically improved a kind of intelligence needed for high-level math and science, suggests a new study. Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build new spatial reasoning, says psychologist Frances Rauscher of University of California-Irvine. "Music instruction can improve a child's spatial intelligence for long periods of time ~ perhaps permanently," Rauscher told the American Psychological Association meeting here. Her study compared 19 pre-schoolers who took the lessons and 14 classmates enrolled in no special music programs. After eight months, she found: A 46% boost in spatial IQ's for the young musicians and a 6% improvement for children not taught music.
- Rees feels that involvement in high school music lessons and programs helps students develop the skills necessary for a variety of occupations. Rees states: "Successful music students tend to possess the qualities and skills that are generally considered essential to employers in business, education and service organizations." She also recognizes that music education assists students in improving their writing, communication skills and DOES improve analytical skills. Rees further states that, to be succesful in music takes a great deal of self-discipline and notes that "music majors have the highest SAT scores in all areas."
- Fred Hargadon, former Dean of Admissions for Stanford University, in a 1983 interview with Stauffer said, "We look for students who have taken part in orchestra, symphonic band, chorus and drama. It shows a level of energy and an ability to organize time that we are after here. It shows that they can carry a full academic load and learn something else. It means that these particular students already know how to get involved, and that's the kind of campus we want to have."
- Music participation does have a positive impact on reading. A reading program in New York dramatically improved reading achievement scores by including music and art in the curriculum. Winston writes about how learning to read music enhances the student's ability to perform the skills necessary for reading, listening, anticipating, forecasting, memory training, recall skills, concentration techniques and speed reading. It has also been found that music students can out-perform non-music students on achievement tests in reading and math. Referring to reading and communication skills, Kuffler recognized the contributions the arts can make to the development of perceptual and cognitive skills.
- There are similar studies in the area of mathematics that show gains in test scores in math for music students when compared to non-music students. Maltester found that increased instruction in music can lead to increased learning in mathematics. A study conducted in the Albuquerque, New Mexico public schools concluded by comparing all areas of the California Test of Basic Skills (CTBS). It was found that music students in an instrumental class for two or more years scored significantly higher than non-music students. Grace Nash, an Arizona music educator, has found that incorporating music into mathematics lessons has enabled students to learn multiplication tables and math formulas more easily.
- The Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humatnities has found a connection between students having musical competence and high motivation in that they were more likely to achieve success in school. They concluded that there is a high correlation between positive self-perception, high cognitive competence scores, self-esteem, and interest and involvement in school music. Whitwell came to much the same conclusion and contends that creative participation in music improves self-image, self-awareness and creates positive attitudes about oneself. Marshall found that involvement and achievement in school music builds positive self-image, which is a motivation for academic learning among urban black middle school students.
- It has also been found that, through involvement in music activities on the high school level, individuals learn improved self-esteem. Sward, in writing about Fred Miller, president of the Miller Summer Clinics, says that Miller has found that musical experiences "instill: 1) positive attitude; 2) positive self image; 3) desire to achieve excellence; 4) co-operation; 5) group cohesiveness; and 6) ability to set goals." Eisner writes about the importance of arts in education because they develop intellectual and aesthetic abilities.
- There are a number of studies that show a connection between music and the development of the brain. Dr. Frank Wilson is an assistant clinical professor of neurology at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. He reports that his studies show that instrumental practice enhances coordination, concentration and memory, and also brings about the improvement of eyesight and hearing. He further reports that the process of learning to play an instrument refines the development of the brain and the entire neurological system (Mueller, 1984). In a speech at the California Educators Association State Convention on March 17, 1989, Dr. Wilson said he has found that, through music, people become an active participant in their own physiological development. Wilson says that people can discover themselves and a sense of self in community through musical involvement. His research has shown that involvement in Music connects and develops the motor systems of the brain in a way that cannot be done by any other activity. In support of this, Dr. Wilson shared recent data from UCLA brain scan research studies which shows that music more fully involves brains functions (both left and right hemispheres) than any other activites studied. Dr. Wilson feels these findings are so significant that it will lead to a universal understanding in the next century that music is an absoluate necessity for the total development of the brain and the individual. [Music lessons are, therefore, indispensible in the life of the child.]
- A separate study shows that performance in music develops the intellect. These musical activities train the brain in aesthetic literacy and the students' perceptual, imaginative and visual abilities (Sinatra, 1986). Whitwell (1977) deals with the left brain/right brain issue. He says that when one talks about music, that person is using the left side of the brain. In order to utilize the right side of the brain, one must creatively produce in an activity such as music, [particularly piano music.] Whitwell says the "music is an independent, separate, unique form of intellect, a form of intellect through which man can communicate directly in its own inherent form (P. 9). This seems to confirm Wilson's contention that music does have a developmental impact on the brain. Whitwell chides the educational system for only educating half a brain. He points our that most attention or daydreaming problems can be solved by involving the right side of the brain in the learning process. Whitwell says that the complete person must have equal access to both domains (left and right brain) of understanding, and this access has to include a creative activity such as the performance of music. [Playing the piano is the single greatest endeavor to gain access to both domains (left and right brain).]
- Tedd Judd, in a speech at the 1984 conference on the Biology of Music-Making entitled, "A Neurologist Looks at Musical Behavior", comes to the conclusion that involvement in music engages many parts of the interconnected brain (Roehmann, 1988). Dr. Jean Houston of the Foundation for Mind Research says that children without access to an arts program are actually damaging their brain. They are not being exposed to non-verbal modalities which help them learn skills like reading, writing and math much more easily (Roehmann, 1988).
- Kudos to Kim Haxton for your help creating the above article
- References for the above article include the following:
- Brown, Joseph D. (1980) Identifying Problems Facing the School Band Movement. Elkhart: Gemeinhardt Co. Inc.
- Brown, Joseph D. (1985) Strategic Marketing For Music Educators. Elkhart: Gemeinhardt Co. Inc.
- Horne, C. (1983, Feb-Mar). If You Don't Do It, Nobody Else Will. CMEA news, pp. 11-13,26
- Kaufman, B. (1976, Nov-Dec). Where Every Child Is Special. Today'r Education, pp. 22-25.
- Rees, M. A. (1988, Nov). An open letter to the parents of prospective music majors, Instumentalist. P. 40.
- Biernat, Nancy A. & Klesse, Edward J. (1989) The Third Curriculum: Student Activities. Reston, Virginia National Association of Secondary School Principals.
- New York City Board of Education. (1980). Learning to Read Through the Arts, Title I Children't Program P. S. 9. New York City Board of Education: Division of Curriculum and Instruction.
- Winston, E.W. (1982, Dec). 3 R's and an M, Music Educators Journal, P. 40.
- Friedman, B. (1959) An Evaluation of the Achievement in Reading and Arithmatic of Pupils in Elementary Schools Instrumental Classes. Dissertaion Abstracts International, 20, pps. 3662-3663.
- Kuffler, P.M. (1980) The Role of the Arts in General Education, Boston: Harvard Press.
- Miller, J. Buchen, I., Oderlund, A. & Martarotti, J. (1983). The Arts: An Essential Ingredient in Education. Position paper of the California Council of Fine Arts Deans. (Available from the School of Fine Arts, California State Univerisity, Long Beach).
- Maltester, J. (1986, Jan). Music: The Social and Academic Edge. Thrust, pp. 25-27.
- Robitaillel, J. & O'Neal, S. (1981). Why Instrumental Music in the Elementay Schools?. Phi Delta Kappan, 63, p. 213.
- Armstrong, T. (1988, April). Music for Minors. Parenting, pp.m 8-11.
- Lillemyr, O. F. (1983). Achievement motivation as a Factor in Self-perception. Norwegian Research Council for Science and the Humanities, pp. 245-248.
- Whitwell, D. (1977, June). Jusic Learning Through Performance. A paper comissioned by Texas Music Educators Association.
- Marshall, A. T. (1978). An Analysis of Music Curricula and its Relationship to the Self Image of Urban Black Middle School Age Children. Dissertaion Abstracts International, A38, pp. 6594A-5A.
- Sward, R. (1989, Winter). Band is a family. Today's Music Educator, pp.m 26-27.
- Eisner, E. (1987, Feb). Educating the Whole Person: Arts in the Curriculum, Music Educators journal, pp. 37-41.
- Mueller, J. (1984). Right Brain Strategies for the Full Development of the Individual Through Study of the Arts, A General Review of General Session II ACC-VACC Conference, Sacramento, CA February 21, 1984. San Francisco, City College of San Francisco.
- Roehmann, Franz L. & Wilson, Frank R. (1988). The Biology of Music Making: Proceedings of the 1984 Denver Conference. St. Louis, MMB Music, Inc.
- Sinatra, R. (1986) Visual Literacy Connections to Thinking, Reading and Writing, New York: Charles C. Thomas.
- Wishey, A. (1980). Music as the Source of Learning. Baltimore: University Park Press.
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