School music programs nationwide are disappearing, suffering at the hands of state-by-state budget cuts. Though it can be tempting to dismiss this as no big deal, the impact of eliminating music programs at schools is worse than you may imagine. March being Music in Our Schools Month (#MIOSM), we’re sharing a list of five reasons why music education is incredibly important—and why, in turn, we here at Schoola donate 40% of proceeds to schools to keep programs like music, art, and PE alive!
1. Music education helps kids do better in school.
Numerous studies show music education improves academic performance. A 2007 study published in Nature Neuroscience reports that “students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests…regardless of the socioeconomic level of community.”
To get a perfected picture of what this means, let’s look at some other studies. One study found that students who had a quality music education score an average of 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math on their SATS. Another discovered that, with good music programs, elementary school students did 22% better in English and 20% better in math across all geographic regions. Even basic music programs sparked improved academic achievement in comparison with schools that provided no music education at all.
2. Music education builds stronger brains.
The reasons why music education leads to better school performance start in the brain. Studies have shown that music education builds and strengthens connections between brain cells. Engaging both the left and right brain, music training has been linked to better brainstem responses to sound, improved language and reasoning development, and increased memorization abilities. When you consider the tasks that music lessons involve, from memorizing notes, to reading the polka-dotted language of sheet music, to learning the differences between sounds, it’s easy to understand why brains thrive on music.
3. Music education teaches kids important soft skills.
Not only does music education improve quantitative school performance, it helps students with important soft skills. As part of a band, chorus, or orchestra, children learn to work well as part of a team. Additionally, music enhances their emotional development, giving children a safe outlet for their feelings and exposure to (and thereby empathy for) other cultures. Lastly, music enhances discipline through teaching kids the benefits of dedication and practice.
4. Music education helps kids intelligently navigate the physical world.
Music education also helps children learn to manage the physical world with grace. Music lessons, particularly learning instruments, improve spatial intelligence, pattern recognition, and fine motor skills.
5. Music education sets kids up for future success.
Not only does music help children do well in school, it helps them succeed as their futures unfold. Today’s workforce increasingly relies on good social skills and creative thinking. By nurturing teamwork and creative thinking, music helps kids learn collaboration, think outside the box, and find creative solutions to finicky problems, all of which will come in handy as they continue to learn and grow.
Did you find a few interesting facts in this article? Tell us on Twitter or Facebook (@Schoola) and show your support for Music in Our Schools Month by using the #MIOSM hashtag. And while you’re at it, treat yourself to something from our super cute selection of clothes that support VH1’s Save the Music Foundation!