Why music education matters
Some state’s music and arts budgets in their local school
districts will reach re
its highest point in a dozen years. While
that’s great ne
news for students, it also illustrates the sad fact
that arts and music m
programs have taken a considerable hit
in in recent recent decades,decad
when arts education fell victim to budget
ting kids to tap their toes. The National Association for Music
sons to support music education in schools.
• Music training helps develop language skills. Studies
have shown that music training contributes to the physical
development of the part of the left side of the brain associated
with processing language. A study from researchers at Stanford
University found that mastering a musical instrument
both inside and outside the classroom.
• Music training can improve hand-eye coordination.
Studies have linked long-term music training to improved
hand-eye coordination. That is likely connected to the motor
skills children develop when playing musical instruments.
Without those instruments, those motor skills may not develop
• Music improves concentration. Even students
who cannot play a musical instrument can
research team from the Stanford University School of Medicine
found that music engages the areas of the brain involved
with paying attention. Today’s students deal with numerous
distractions, from smartphones to tablets to social media, but
those who routinely listen to certain types of music might
• Music can help students’ emotional development. A
study commissioned by Chorus America found musicians are
more likely than the average person to be involved in charity
work as volunteers and donors. The NAfME also notes
that music students may be more likely to exhibit empathy
toward other cultures.
• Music can improve self-esteem. In a study examining
117 fourth grade students attending public school found that
children who received piano lessons weekly for three years
had higher self-esteem than children who were not given piano
lessons during the same period. Neither group had participated
in formal music instruction before the study. And
students in both groups reported similar levels of self-esteem
prior to participating in the study.
Music education can enrich the lives of young students
in a myriad of ways, potentially contributing to happier,
FLORIDA WOMEN MAGAZINE 813.682.9364 APR/MAY 2019 • 13