Does music benefit the learning process? Yes, it does. Research made it clear years ago that learning musical chords can help pass college boards.
It’s Not “Just” Music
Studies have shown that learning music not only benefits the learning process, but it also strengthens skills kids use in other subject areas. Learning music basically makes kids access numerous skill sets (quite often simultaneously). For example, children use their eyes and ears as well as large and small muscles. It is a stimulating and integrating activity.
Boosts Brain Power
Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Johns Hopkins University notes that research also reveals that musicians use more of their brains when playing their instruments. Furthermore, a study by Gottfried Schlaug, a professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School and Ellen Winner, a professor of psychology at Boston College indicates that positive changes occurred in the brain images of kids who took weekly music lessons for 15 months. The subjects had gained improved fine motor tasks and sound discrimination.
While some researchers state that learning about music or taking music lessons will not make anyone smarter, another study seems to indicate otherwise. According to research published in a 2004 issue of Psychological Science, The IQs of kids who were given weekly music lessons increased. While results may have indicated only an increase of a point or two in some children, sometimes even two points can make a difference.
Another benefit related to music education is in the area of language development. Children are reportedly born prepared to translate words and sounds, music actually enhances those same natural abilities. Sources at the Children’s Music Workshop, musical training actually physically develops the area of one’s left brain that is related to language processing. The root of social competence is said to be language competence and music education fortifies the ability to be verbally proficient.
Studies also indicate that there is a definite causal link between spatial intelligence and music. Essentially, understanding music helps kids visualize a number of different elements that should go together. People use the same skills when working out the answer to a math problem. They are also utilized when one solves other multi-step problems in the areas of not only math, but also architecture, art, engineering, gaming and most notably when working with computers and related technology.
Improved Test Scores
Christopher Johnson, a professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, completed a research project in 2007 that showed that elementary school students who were provided with “superior music education programs” scored 20 percent higher on math scores and 22 percent higher in English scores on standardized tests. Johnson believes that there is a definite connection. He says that the concentration needed in learning to play a musical instrument is very much like that required to do well on standardized tests.
Along with better performance results on previously mentioned concentration-based activities, music training also promotes better basic memory recall. In fact, it is also associated with additional related cognitive elements like verbal recall proficiency. Those who have had formal training in the area of music are generally good at being able to remember verbal information stored in the memory.
Finally, music can also improve children’s natural abilities in both learning and various other non-music tasks. Other studies confirm that other benefits include learning discipline, learning a skill, being a part of another world, and learning both time and self-management skills. So, get ready to rock, boys and girls, ‘cause it’s good for you!
Guest post courtesy of Your Music Lessons, a web-based company that connects students and teachers for a wide range of instruments. From piano lessons, guitar lessons, voice lessons to saxophone lessons, we will help you find the instruction you need.