Is Music The Key To Excellence?

Elliott Alder

Intro

In 2015 a study was done on the Novo Sarajevo elementary school (2). The school has a focus on music and ballet. The students at the school came from diverse backgrounds of wealth and intelligence. The research showed evidence that learning how to play an instrument, even when not good at playing the instrument, greatly improved students’ performance in other subjects within school. The students saw average performance ratings go from ones, twos, and threes up to fours and fives. Out of 134 students, none had an average below 4 and 122 of them had an average of five.

The Benefits of Music In Education

Music has many benefits and uses within schools. All of which help improve students’ moods and attention along with helping them with memorization, recognition, and other important skills.

Music is an amazing creative output for all people allowing them to relieve stress and express themselves freely through song and dance. Studies have shown that listening to and playing music lower levels of stress and anxiety in students (1). It also helps students translate and release feelings and emotions they may otherwise bottle up and keep to themselves.

Another benefit of music is the pattern recognition and memorization skills that students learn and strengthen while playing and listening to music. Music has been shown to help students memorize things from different subjects and help boost their learning within the classroom. 

These are just a few of the benefits of music education. There are many published papers and articles that provide much information on the subject. Check the sources for a more detailed analysis of the benefits.

Helping Students With Learning Disabilities

One of the most important uses of music within schools is to help students who have a difficult time learning. Students with ADHD showed improvements in attention and focus when listening to music (4, 5). Students with memorization issues could use songs to help recognize patterns. Students with social issues could use music as a way to relate and build relationships with others. Music is a powerful tool in advancing the minds of underdeveloped and disadvantaged students.

Then Why is Music Being Cut From Schools?

In short, there is not enough money. In 2011-2012 about 84 percent of schools in the U.S. experienced budget cuts (3). When faced with low money schools have to make a decision. Who do we cut from the funding? The first thing that comes to mind for most is music. On a surface level, it seems insignificant and provides very little benefit. But with a little research and thought you (hopefully) will come to the conclusion that music education can provide many benefits to the classroom and school as a whole.

What Have We Learned?

Music is a much more important aspect of education than we previously thought. It is proven to greatly increase test scores, it keeps students motivated and in schools, and it helps build important skills utilized in and out of the classroom. Music helps prepare students for their adult lives and keeps them from being overstressed. It helps people who may need help with learning or behavior. Music is an untapped resource with immense potential and value.

Sources

(1)Music listening as a means of stress reduction in daily life

Alexandra Linnemann, Beate Ditzen, Jana Strahler, Johanna M.Doerr, Urs M.Nater.  

1.University of Marburg, Department of Psychology, Marburg, Germany

2.Heidelberg University Hospital, Department of Medical Psychology, Heidelberg, Germany

(2)Importance of Music in Education System

Ivana Hadžihasanović Gojmerac

Herzegovina University

(3)Funding for Schools’ Art Programs Ending?

Jen McDonald

KM Perform School for Arts and Performance

(5)SoundsOfIntent.org

(4)The Importance of Music in Supporting the Development of Children With Learning Disabilities

Graham F Welch UCL Institute of Education, London Adam Ockelford University of Roehampton, London.