Music Notes: How Music Education Enhances Learning
At work and at play, music continually enriches our lives. The power of music is perhaps at its most potent during the early years, when children are just beginning to develop the skills, creativity and confidence they will need to guide them through to adulthood.
The benefits of music education stretch far past the skill of knowing how to play an instrument or an ability to match pitch vocally; it has the potential to positively impact a child’s character and future.
- Memorization. From multiplication tables to speeches in public speaking class, the ability to memorize information quickly and completely is an incredibly helpful study skill. When a child learns a new song, they are also honing their pattern recognition.
- Setting goals. Mastering an instrument takes dedication, discipline and perseverance. Each new milestone with that instrument teaches children that when they set a specific goal, they can achieve it with the right mindset.
- Teamwork. Group music classes and activities like band or orchestra (the latter usually reserved for the older grades) emphasize the necessity of working together with others to achieve a common goal.
- Enhanced language and cognitive development. According to a report by the National Association for Music Education (NaFME.org), “Music experiences can help children prepare to learn to become literate as it helps them become more aware of and focused on the phonemes that make up the language. When children develop musical skill and understanding, they are developing basic cognitive, social, and motor skills necessary for success throughout the educational process.”
- Self-Confidence. When a child knows that he or she has the ability and the determination to commit to playing an instrument, performing in front of a group, or simply doing his or her part in music class, he or she is far more likely to develop healthy self-confidence in other areas of life.
If you have young children, investigate opportunities, both in school and out of school, for music enrichment and education. If you don’t have school-age children, be sure to advocate for music education funding in public schools, as it is an integral part of human development.