Music can be key to academic success

Some believe music isn’t as important as the core academic subjects.

According to the educational online site Learning Liftoff, there are 10 benefits of music education that highlight why it should be an integral part of students’ lives, whether inside or outside of school.

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1. Language skills. Recent studies have indicated musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain involved with processing language. Learning a musical instrument can improve how the brain understands human language, which can help students learn a second language.

2. Improved test scores. Studies have shown students who are involved in music education program in school perform better on tests than students who don’t engage in music.

3. Self-esteem. Music allows students to try something new and develop confidence as they develop skills. When students work towards a common goal, this joint effort creates a sense of security and acceptance connects to self-esteem.

4. Listening skills. Music involves listening to yourself and sometimes with an ensemble. Musicians need to hear tempos, dynamics, tuning and harmonies, which helps auditory development in the brain.

5. Math skills. Reading music includes learning quarter, half and whole notes, which are essentially fractions. Spending time learning about rhythm involves counting and logic. Many musical concepts have mathematical counterparts.”

6. Making the brain work harder. Research shows the brain of a musician works differently than a non-musician. Some neuroscience research finds that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity.

7. Relieving stress. We all know listening to a favourite artist or song can lift a mood and relax us. The same goes for creating music. Facilitating children to immerse themselves in something that’s fulfilling and calming can reduce stress.

8. Creativity. Music nurtures creativity, which can have an impact on their futures. The Arts Education Partnership states, “Employers identify creativity as one of the top five skills important for success in the workforce.” Music programs encourage creativity, teamwork, communication and critical thinking, which are skills and competencies necessary in music or in other fields.

9. Helping special needs children. Music can have a powerful impact on kids with special needs by helping them communicate.

10. Higher graduation rates. Schools with music programs tend to have higher graduation rates. DoSomething.org reports, “Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 per cent graduation rate and 93.9 per cent attendance rate compared to schools without music education who average 72.9 per cent graduation and 84.9 per cent attendance.”

Bottom line, support music education in our schools and in our community. One way is to support our local music gestival. The vommittee of volunteers is always looking for more parents, grandparents, and community-minded people to step forward and say, “How can I help?” If you have any interest in offering support, please do not hesitate to contact a committee member or indicate your interest on your child’s registration. If your time is not available but you or your business would like to support the festival monetarily, consider sponsoring an award to be presented at the final gala event, or sponsoring a session for a music discipline of your choice, or being recognized as a patron or friend of the festival. There are numerous options from small-sized to large-sized if you are supporter of local music education.

This year’s festival dates are  March 24 to April 5.

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” ― Maya Angelou

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