The Benefits of Music Education for Your Child

Music unites us.  

If you were to attend a concert or a music festival in another country where you weren’t fluent in the language, you would immediately be connected with the first note.  There would be singing, swaying, and locking arms.  There would be nodding heads and tapping toes. The scattered black lines and dots on a piece of paper come together and bring together a force that reaches us and allows us to feel when words sometimes fail. 

We don’t need special devices to translate or years of training to understand the universal language of music. It transcends all social, economic, and cultural barriers.

The Benefits of Music Education

The benefits of music education are immense and highly beneficial to students.  Music positively impacts a child’s academic career.  Children who have access to study music tend to have larger vocabularies, more advanced reading skills, and score higher on tests.

Studies show that schools with music programs have a higher attendance rate than those without music programs by almost 10%.  In 2015, the National Association for Music Education conducted a study and found that schools with music programs had an attendance rate of 93.3% compared to 84.9% for those schools without music programs. (The National Association for Music Education. “Music Makes the Grade.” The National Association for Music Education. Accessed February 24, 2015).

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 Luehrsen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants, more commonly known as the NAMM Foundation.

Music and Language Development

“When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music’s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage,” says Luehrsen. “Growing up in a musically rich environment is often advantageous for children’s language development.”

Not all children are exposed to this type of environment, which is why music education is so critical for their development. Musical training develops the left side of the brain, which is where language is processed. Language development is critical for social competence and music can help strengthen this capacity.

“There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain,” says Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of Johns Hopkins University.  So, when you teach a child music, you are teaching them so much more than just music!  You are activating their brain to work better!

Expressing Self with Music

  A child learns how to express themselves, connect with others, self-regulate, and feel their emotions.  When you hand a child an instrument, you give them another voice.  

Their ability to express themselves leads to connecting with other students.  

  • Learning to play in tune involves listening.  
  • Learning to play with others involves collaboration.  
  • Performing by yourself or in a group teaches self-confidence.  
  • Learning to play an instrument instills a unique sense of discipline.  

It requires engagement and to make music you need to try something you might have never done before. Leadership skills are developed, as well as collaborative skills.  

Music and Life Skills

When you provide a child with music, you are giving them a life skill.  A skill of expression, a skill of connecting, and emotional regulation. Organization and responsibility for their instrument, remembering important dates and assignments, and repetition to increase ability and knowledge.  All skills that take them into the world and they can apply those same skills in any work they choose.  

More importantly, music education doesn’t just teach you about music, it teaches you a lot about yourself and how you view the world.

Music Opens Space for Everyone

The music department is critical to a school.  It is a place to discover the abilities, talents, and wonders of music.  But, it is also a place of comfort and safety.  A place where students can come and be themselves.  

When my oldest son was in high school, he was bullied.  He retreated into the band room at lunchtime, where he found other students who accepted him and allowed him to be himself.  He talked about things he was passionate about, geeking out over composers, analyzing music theory and he felt safe. 

Music education allows unconventional thinkers to be able to make sense of themselves and their world. Not every child is built for sitting at a desk or taking exams.  There are children out there who need to create, perform, and express themselves out loud, instead of rigid curriculum.  

The black dots they have to fill in the circles on tests, for them, should be black dots in a sequence making sense of rhythms and sounds and dynamics. While doing “normal” school tasks are also essential, music education allows students who need an outlet to take the time to release and express themselves. 

Give Your Child the Experience of Music

Your child does not need to become a professional musician to enjoy the benefits of making music.  Each time they play, perform, progress, or practice, it helps them be a better person.  They are immersed in something that doesn’t require words.  They are listening and feeling and becoming.  They are making memories with friends and learning new skills. 

“There’s a massive benefit from music that we don’t understand, but it’s individual.  Music is for music’s sake,” Rasmussen says. “The benefit of music education for me is about being musical. It gives you a better understanding of yourself.  The horizons are higher when you are involved in music,” he adds. “Your understanding of art and the world, and how you can think and express yourself, are enhanced.” 

If you want to improve the well-being of students, give them an instrument, let them sing in a choir, let them explore the sounds and rhythms of music from other cultures and different composers.  Let them get lost in the beauty of all of it, the connections, the feelings and emotions.  Let those black dots start to connect in ways they never thought possible.  Let them speak the universal language. “Music doesn’t just have the ability to transform an education, it has the ability to transform a life.”  Vaughan Fleischfresser

 

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Rest assured that Day Violins has the highest quality of customer service and a generous referral credit rental program for upgrading your instrument as your child grows and improves in their musical abilities.  

We are so excited to take this journey with you.