activities, family, music, school age

Sing, Strum, or Dance Your Way to a Better Brain!

The Benefits of Music Education

I have always heard that music education helps kids in school. But, how does it all work? How does music help your brain??

What Studies Have Shown

Studies show that music training helps develop the left side of the brain which in turn helps in processing language.

musicnotesChildren who take music lessons over time show significant improvement in spatial-temporal reasoning. These skills are necessary for learning math and science.

In one study, students enrolled in a school music program scored 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math on standardized tests. Some studies even say that music education can improve IQ and SAT scores!

Other Benefits of Music

By playing an instrument or learning vocal music, kids learn how to accomplish goals. clarinet playerAlthough it takes years to be proficient, kids can accomplish many short-term goals. Children usually take lessons weekly or even daily if they are at school. They learn to master their musical assignments for each lesson so that they can progress to the next musical masterpiece.

You need self-discipline to learn music. Children have to practice consistently. This self-discipline can be carried over into academics or sports.

Music education helps kids become more independent and self-sufficient. They have to tackle new challenges and take responsibility for their decisions and actions. In turn, they develop confidence in themselves and their musical abilities.

So Now What?? Where Do I Sign Up??

Before you go and sign you child up for piano lessons for life. You might want to read this.

karaokekidStudies show that kids have to be actively involved and interested in participating in the music program for them to get any benefit from it. Just listening to Mozart isn’t enough. Students who played instruments in class had better neural processing than children who attended a music appreciation group for example.

You don’t have to break the bank to get your kids actively involved in playing music. Have younger kids make music with pots and pans. Have a dance or karaoke night. Go to the library or rec center for parent-tot music classes.

Older kids may be interested in starting formal music or voice lessons. You don’t have to pay for expensive lessons though, ask around at school. Some teachers work give lessons from their homes and are not as expensive as music studios. High school students who have taken classes for years are another option. Referrals through the music teacher at school or the music minister at church can also be helpful.

Music stores will have boards where music teachers can put cards up. Some music stores will also offer discounts on lessons.

Whatever you choose, make sure that your child is enjoying it. If they aren’t having fun, try a different instrument or maybe join a choir.

Being engaged in music is the key: making it, playing it, mixing it, and dancing to it are all great ways to enhance both joy and brain power!

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