It may come as a surprise, but studies show that integrating music into education can lead to improvement in brain development.
Who’d have guessed?
Well, ask any educator at an arts academy high school or middle school and they could have told you. They’ve known for a long time the benefits of music as more than merely an elective.
In arts integration education, music is a crucial component.
Why Integrating Music Into Education Is Important
For creative and artistically inclined children, school can be especially challenging. They experience the world in a way that doesn’t always jive with more conventional education models.
Furthermore, they often feel like outcasts and pariahs on a social level because they don’t always conform to the norms.
But with an arts-integrated education, they tend to thrive. And music is an important part of that curriculum. Integrating music into education has many benefits:
1. Increases Understanding of Other Subjects
Sure, music education enables students to develop musical skills. But it also taps into other subjects as well. When students work to understand time signatures, for example, they learn about fractions in a way that’s concrete and not abstract.
Meanwhile, analyzing lyrics and songwriting improves their reading skills. In fact, studies show that students who participate in music classes have better speech processing abilities and higher reading scores than those who don’t.
Discussing the sheer mechanics of an instrument and how it works addresses the physics of sound while understanding music throughout time can spark interest in history.
Arts-integrated teachers often find success for students who have challenges in other areas of learning by incorporating music.
2. Fosters Powerful Study Habits and Discipline
Mastering a music craft takes time and patience. And students of music must be committed to a regular practice. That means that they have to be able to manage their time effectively so they can fit in the time to practice.
From that launching point, they are better able to balance every other activity they have in their lives. In other words, music education teaches, by proxy, students to be disciplined. This, in turn, helps to foster more solid study habits when it comes to subjects that aren’t as interesting.
Better overall performance at the middle school and high school levels allows for better college education and job prospects in the future.
3. Strengthens Hand-Eye Coordination Skills
It’s hard to argue that playing a musical instrument improves dexterity. Students of music must be able to incorporate specific hand motions to create the sound they want.
Whether they’re opening and closing valves, strumming strings, or hitting keys, it all requires calculated hand-eye coordination. In addition, they have to be able to play their instruments while reading sheet music and following a conductor.
This teaches strengthens the ability to focus on multiple things.
4. Encourages Deeper Social Connections
As we mentioned above, social connections can be tough for creative kids. When they’re among other creative kids though, it’s much easier. Partially because in the creation of art and music, students understand that they have to process a situation and quickly find a solution.
This “superpower”, as it were, increases activity in the part of the brain tied to auditory processing and comprehension. As such, learning music enables students to become better at sensing emotion, listening to one another, and respond with more empathy and understanding.
All of this is key in forming connections and relationships.
In addition, the act of creating a band or small ensemble, or singing together in a chorus, encourages bonding while requiring students to physically work together to create an end product.
5. Improves Memory
One of the biggest requirements in music education is the ability to memorize. Between recalling lyrics, reading music, and remembering the right notes to play, there is a lot to remember. Fortunately, all of this activity strengthens the memory center of the brain.
It is because of this that musicians outperform non-musicians in not just auditory tests, but visual and memory tests as well.
Because of its connection with memory, music also serves as an aid to help teach lessons. For example, do you think you’ll ever forget the alphabet? And how many times have you recalled a song from many many years (or even decades) ago and still remember every single word?
6. Relieves Stress
The demands of school and life can be overwhelming for many teenagers. And finding a way to balance schoolwork and extracurricular activities can be a challenge.
Then there’s the pressure of what happens after high school? Students who want to get into a good college or training program need to maintain a high level of study. Add to that what is happening in a teenager’s home life and burnout is all too easy.
But music – both listening to it and playing it – can reduce stress and improve mood. And it’s pretty tough to put a value on the ability to do that these days.
Could an Arts Integrated Education Help Your Child?
Hopefully, you now have a clearer picture of the benefits of integrating music into education.
This is just one of the myriad ways we combine arts and learning at Arts Academy in the Woods. If you feel your child could benefit from this effective teaching model, then contact us today to take a tour of our school.
And prepare for possibility.