When it comes to improving education, STEM subjects are at the top of everyone’s agenda these days. Indeed, science, technology, engineering, and math are vital in an increasingly technological world, but the arts proffer their own benefits, often in unexpected ways.
Check out these six proven benefits of music education.
Improve Fine Motor Skills And Coordination
Music isn’t just about the auditory sense, though it helps hone that skill better than any other subject. Learning how to play an instrument involves improving hand-to-eye coordination, ear-to-hand coordination, and the fine motor skills needed to tease a cymbal or tickle the ivories.
Improve Language Development
Science has shown that learning music requires the same parts of the brain involved in learning language. Singing, embracing new melodies, and taking up an instrument thickens the web of circuits vital to sound processing and comprehension.
Children who are adept in verbal communication tend to have an advantage in both educational and social settings, a benefit that is magnified as time goes on.
Improve Focus And Memory
Working one’s way through even the simplest of piano études is an exercise in focus, hand/eye coordination, and both physical and mental recall. By sticking to it, students learn that mastery is a direct result of practicing frequently, in part because repetition reinforces memory.
Improve Fundamental Math Skills
For the uninitiated, the little black dots rising and falling upon a scale seem to bear no relation to keys on a piano or chords on a guitar. But to a child who can read music, those dots deliver rich amounts of information about what keys to press on a trumpet or strings to pass the bow across on a cello. In math terms, this is called pattern recognition.
When it comes to fundamental math skills, there’s no ignoring the Mozart Effect. Scientists ran a test in which college students were given a number of spatial tasks to do, such as trace a path out of a paper maze. Those who listened to Mozart first did the task measurably faster and more accurately than those who didn’t. It turns out that music lights up the same part of the brain that grapples with spatial skills—vital for understanding higher math.
Improve Discipline And Teamwork
The value of hard work is a lesson that a child has to experience on her own. A schedule of daily music practice is an honest discipline that will show your child that hard work leads to true benefits.
For older children, joining a small ensemble, a large school orchestra, or even a rock band encourages teamwork as well as the overall positive feeling that comes with collaborating with a greater community toward a common goal.
Improve Self-Confidence And Self-Esteem
When a skill builds incrementally, at a speed that is directly related to the amount of work put into it, a child will soon see benefits from his labors. It’s empowering for a child to realize that the extent of his own achievement lies squarely in his own hands.
Also, since music is meant to be performed, developing the courage to stand up in front of both friends and strangers to exhibit achievements is good way to brace for the business meetings and first-job-interviews of the real world.