Sunday, December 17

Do Kids Who Study Music Really Do Better in School And in Life?

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The answer seems to be a resounding yes! And this is based on the findings of the numerous studies done on the DYNAMICS of music lessons and brain development.

avw.php?zoneid=757&cb=cfc194b3e1178bf6bbIn one neurological research done on February 28, 1997, the University of California – Irvine made this remarkable discovery:

After only 6 months of piano lessons, preschoolers performed 34% higher on spatial – temporal testing than their peers who received no lesson and even those who received computer training.

2 years later, another research team of this university made another stunning finding!

Some 2nd and 3rd graders who learnt how to count in music using eighth, quarter, half and whole notes scored 100% higher, on their math test than their peers who were taught fractions using the traditional method.

As if these were not enough, the music students did it again in 2001. The College Board did The Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, and found that College-bound seniors with school music experience scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of their SATs and 41 points higher in math (98 points combined) than those without any arts instruction.

So what is it about music that accounts for such remarkable success?

One of the possible answers to this is that music study acts as a vital exercise for the neurological connections of the brain!

This deduction comes from what science has taught us about the brain.

It is comprised of 200 billions neurons.

These neurons are changing continually. They must be used by forming pathways or inter- connections with other neurons. Otherwise, they will trim themselves off, shrink away, and die.

This is where the study of music comes in like a “Knight in shining armor”.

It provides a good mental exercise. This enables the brain to form those vital neurological pathways that save the neurons from being trimmed off because of the lack of use.

But, the best of these is that music training offers a lot, through its self-contained, varied intellectual diet.

(1)   It exposes the student to history and geography.  Music students are required to look at the life and culture of the different composers, whose music they are learning

(2)   It directs the student to science (physics).  They get to explore the concept of sound and pitch through the tessitura of their instrument.

(3)   It teaches math.  To play a rhythmic line correctly, the student must calculate the mathematical value of the notes accurately.

(4)   It teaches reading and writing.  The student must learn to read the music symbols in order to unveil the beautiful piece of music a composer has left behind.  The student gets to practice writing during their study of music theory.

It is clear then that the brain which is exposed to music is empowered for a better intellectual success than one that is given a poorly prepared diet.

So then, a varied intellectual diet that has music training on its menu should be the “rule of thumb” for all parents: because the facts clearly shows:

(1) It sets the tone for doing better in Life.

(2) It helps children develop a discipline that is geared toward success.

The academy winning award nature of this discipline is:

(1) To study music, one must have weekly lessons lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to 60 minutes depending on the student’s level and attention span.

(2) The lessons are held at regular time, and the student must get there in that specific time.

(3) The student is taught how to develop a daily practice routine.

In this daily practice routine, they must remember what to practice, and how to practice for success.

(4) When they internalize this practice routine skill, they tend to transfer it to other areas of their lives, and THE RETURNS are tremendous, truly satisfying, very fulfilling and amazing.

To name just a few of these rewards:

1) It is highly likely that the disciplined student will complete his/her homework assignments and study for his / her tests.

Completed homework assignments leads to better grades in school,

Better chance of graduating on schedule,

Better chance of being accepted into a good university,

Better chance of achieving a rewarding career.

(2) The student’s performance in recitals, concerts, festivals, competitions helps him/her to develop confidence and a good self-esteem.

That is a good recipe for success in life.

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