As an independent, private music teacher, I am always being forwarded studies and news articles about the benefits of music lessons. It definitely feels good to be on the right side of this issue! And it certainly validates my profession.
This weekend’s Wall Street Journal has an article, A Musical Fix for U.S. Schools, which puts music instruction higher than all other so called non-academic activities.
“Kids in sports also showed increased ambition, while those in theater and dance expressed more optimism. But when it came to core academic skills, the study’s authors found, the impact of music training was much stronger.”
This seems to be one-upping another article this week in the NY Times about how Exercise Boosts Young Brains.
Breaking the day into different activities just makes sense. You need a break from just constant focus of core curriculum of Science, Technology, English and Math. But what the WSJ article says is it’s not just a break, but actually a boost. And the most potent boost comes from learning, playing and practicing an instrument, so much so, that it could be a simple cure-all for all the ills of the school system. At a calculated cost of $187/student per year, a typical large suburban school system could turn itself around.
The list of benefits of musical training include:
- Music raises the IQ
- Music can reduce the academic gap between rich and poor
- Music does more than sports, theater or dance
- Music can be an early screening tool for reading disabilities
- Music expands your brain, physically
I highly recommend reading the complete article.
My suburban school system provided me with an excellent music education.
I give daily thanks to the late great Andy Blackett and Peter Brasch, Sal Piccolo, Charles Weinsoff, Helen Roberts, Diane Greenspan. I never thought I would be doing this but now it all makes sense.