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Music Education Benefits

A variety of lifelong benefits have been found in music learning

Music is more than an art form, it’s a way of life. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning across the board.

“A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” Mary Luehrisen, executive director of NAMM tells PBS.

Music is more than a voice or fingers playing an instrument. Children who learn about music tap into multiple skills, often simultaneously without realizing it. When reading music, people use their ears, eyes, large and small muscles together, causing a stimulating and integrating experience.

“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface,” states Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education. “They (children) have an enthusiasm for life a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training – training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”

Children who learn music often have an advanced development in language. Musical training physically develops the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language. Music strengthens the ability to be more

Research suggests that music can increase IQs of children (and adults) by seven points. Experts have found that musicians’ brains are different than nonmusicians’ brains in the way they process music.

“For children especially, we found that learning to play the piano for instance teaches them to be more self-disciplined, more attentive and better at planning. All of these things are very important for academic performance, so can, therefore, make a child brighter,” says Lutz Jäncke, a psychologist at the University of Zurich.

“Of course music isn’t the only answer, but I do believe that it should be used in addition to other things.”

Kids who learn music also have brains that work harder, have better spatial-temporal skills and improved test scores. Playing music involves more brain usage, and studies show larger growth of neural activity is present in musicians than nonmusicians. This include solving multi-step problems in architecture, engineering, math, art, gaming and computers, and scoring around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher on standardized tests than nonmusicians.

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