Three Powerful Reasons why children benefit from music education as part of their Curriculum, especially at a young age. There has been plenty of research done about the benefits of music education for young children.
1. Playing music improves concentration, memory and self-expression
One two-year study in Switzerland run with 1200 children in more than 50 classes scientifically showed how playing music improved children’s reading and verbal skills through improving concentration, memory and self-expression.(1) Younger children who had three more music classes per week and three fewer main curriculums made rapid developments in speech and learned to read with greater ease.
Other effects revealed by the study showed that children learned to like each other more, enjoyed school more (as did their teachers) and were less stressed during the various tests, indicating they were better able to handle performance pressure.
2. Playing music improves the ability to think
Ongoing research at the University of California-Irvine and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (2) demonstrate that learning and playing music builds or modifies Neural pathways related to spatial reasoning tasks, which are crucial for higher brain functions like complex maths, chess and science.
The first studies showed that listening to a Mozart sonata temporarily improved a child’s spatial abilities. Further studies compared children who had computer lessons, children who had singing lessons, children who learned music using a Keyboard and children who did nothing additional. The children who had had the Music classes scored significantly higher – up to 35% higher – than the children did Who had computer classes or did nothing additional.(3)
3. Learning music helps under-performing students to improve
Researchers at Brown University in the US (4) discovered that children aged 5-7 years who had been lagging behind in their school performance had caught up with their peers in reading and were ahead of them in math’s after seven months of music lessons. The children’s classroom attitudes and behavior ratings had also Significantly improved, and after a year of music classes were rated as better than the children who had had no additional classes.
1. E W Weber, M Spychiger and J-L Patry, Musik macht Schule. Biografie und Ergebnisse eines Schulversuchs mit erweitertemMusikuntericcht. Padagogik in der Blauen Eule, Bd17. 1993.
2. Various studies by Dr. Gordon Shaw (University of California-Irvine) and Dr. Fran Rauscher (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh), with others.Including those published in Nature 365:611 and Neuroscience Letters 185:44-47
3. E L Wright, W R Dennis & R L Newcomb. Neurological Res.19:2-8. 1997
4. M F Gardiner, A Fox, F Knowles & D Jeffrey. Learning improved by arts training. Nature 381:284. 1996.