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Benefits of Musical Education

  1. Early exposure to music helps develop the brain areas involved in language and reasoning – our first example of the benefits of musical education. Brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly shown that musical training develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and music can actually ‘wire’ the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help young minds store information.
  2. Musical education research shows a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one visualizes elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day to solving advanced mathematics problems.
  3. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.
  4. Another example of the twelve benefits of musical education is found in recent studies that show students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.
  5. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a “me first” attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.
  6. Students exposed to a musical education learn craftsmanship as they practice how to put details together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.
  7. In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
  8. Musical education enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals and practicing.
  9. Musical education provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development. Everyone needs to be in touch at some time in his life with their core, with what s/he is and feels. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.
  10. A musical education develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on “doing,” as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create. In the music classroom, students also learn to communicate better and to cooperate with one another.
  11. Our final example of the benefits of music education is that an arts education exposes children to the incomparable.
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