How Music Helps Your Child
As many of you know, music creates many educational growth opportunities beyond the scope of learning the notes and the instrument. Some of the ways this happens are below.
Special thanks to Marcia Trainer for her input into these ideas.
- Develops responsibility and self-discipline.
- Builds self-confidence, self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.
- Develops a life-long appreciation for music, art and culture.
- Cultivates creativity and independent thinking.
- Develops social skills and the ability to work with others in a team environment.
- Improves communication and inter-personal relationship skills.
- Develops motor-skill and physical-intellectual coordination.
- Studies show that music students consistently rank very high academically.
- Music erases all age, racial, religious, cultural, and political boundaries.
- Music, like math, is often thought of as a form of "language" - in learning music, the brain uses the same centers as it does in language acquisition. Students definitely benefit from keeping these centers open and actively engaged.
- Music learning is a discipline. According to Bloom's Taxonomy of Scaffolding Learning, the way music is learned provides an ideal pattern for learning any academic subject.
- Colleges are increasingly interested in the well- rounded student. Music is always and everywhere respected as a noteworthy achievement to add to a students' list of academic activities.
- Music is a kinetic activity and permits a form of expression and excellence as discussed in Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
- Many students find a talent or form of expression they had not had the opportunity to express in their standard academic areas. This is a tremendous opportunity to build self-esteem, which is transferable both socially and academically.
- Cutting music programs from the school curriculum is more costly than supporting it fully. The laws of reverse economics (John Benham) apply and most music teachers are teaching 1.5 to 2.0 times their student load compared with other academic teachers. Also, the educational benefit students receive from music increases their chances for academic success. In general terms, the cost to reinstate a terminated program is on the order of nine times (9x) the original budgetary allocation than standard operating expenses of a program already in place.
- Learning music in a standard school routine is an extraordinary opportunity to utilize large peer groups for structured, common-goal directed activities. It simply is not readily accessible privately without substantial additional expense, effort, time on the parent's part.
- If you would like to read further scholarly articles providing research-driven data on the benefits of music (to children and otherwise), please go to The CMEA Bay Section's American Music Conference Advocacy Articles page.
- There are also further papers available through the MENC website collection of Academic Achievement Articles.
Practice Tips & Support Ideas
- Provide a supportive home environment that is conducive to practice.
- Provide one hour daily that is theirs for practicing where they don't feel they are disturbing others.
- Sit down with your child occasionally and talk to them about their music.
- Set aside a time for a 15 minute weekly recital to listen to them play.
- Make sure their instruments are in good working condition.
- Take your child's instrument to the repair shop every 3 months for a check-up.
- Have a special time when you sign your child's practice record and ask about their progress.
- Consider that practicing is like homework - if they don't practice they won't improve.
- Encourage them to practice and remember that music improves academic success.
- Have them break up homework with practicing to break the monotony and get both things done.
- Questions about practice records or progress - please contact a music teacher - we want