Despite what your parents may have told you to discourage you from pursuing a career as a rockstar, music education is vital. Even if you never had any musical aspirations.
Unfortunately, music is one of the first subjects to get cut from conventional education curriculums. This is in response to schools jockeying to get high test scores from their students in STEM subjects so they can continue to receive funding.
It’s understandable. But it’s also too bad.
Music Education Is Vital For a Well-Rounded Education
There are certainly parents who want their kids to experience the many advantages of a well-rounded education. For these parents, cutting out the arts is criminal; with their kids as the unsuspecting victims.
Fortunately, there are arts-integrated middle and high schools where the arts are more than just protected. In these institutions, they are used to teach academic subjects.
Furthermore, it is clear that music education does the following for its students:
1. Transcends Academic Barriers
Every student learns in his or her own way. Conventional education models are set up to put students in one uniform box. The expectation is that they either academically thrive or they lag behind.
Students that don’t find success in this model feel discouraged, less-than, even stupid. The reality is, the vast majority are not. They just haven’t tapped into a learning style that speaks to them.
For many of these students, music does. While they may not have a grasp of basic math skills, they’re able to remember and even use rhythmic patterns in harmony with little effort. When they make the connection that this is simply math in action, they’re able to see that they can, in fact, be good at math. And this builds confidence on the academic level.
2. Emphasizes Greater Work Ethic and Discipline
Becoming a skilled musician requires hard work, determination, and plenty of practice. Learning to play an instrument drives home the fact that nothing is handed to us on a plate.
Students steeped in music education learn to commit to their art. They comprehend that in order to achieve a goal, there’s going to be work and discipline involved. More importantly, they see the reward of that hard work in the ability to create music.
This elevated work ethic translates into other areas of their lives as they move through the rest of their education and into adulthood.
3. Improves Focus
Music education can be a godsend for students who have been told they lack focus or are too scattered. These students begin to believe that they are lazy or inept which only further complicates the ability to learn.
Yet for those with an interest in music, learning to read and interpret music and then physically initiating it on an instrument proves that they are able to focus and are not, in fact, lazy. And being able to continuously repeat the same steps throughout a musical performance solidifies this ability to focus. This understanding then carries over into other aspects of their academic lives.
4. Encourages Teamwork and Collaboration
In order to play instruments with others, students must develop listening skills. Whether they’re attempting to implement dynamics, gaging volume levels, or completing any other number of tasks, they understand the importance of teamwork and collaboration when playing together.
This even translates to more singular musical tasks. As students work on rhythmic and melodic notation, for example, being able to listen to the opinions and ideas of others in regard to this also fine-tunes the ability to collaborate and effectively work together.
5. Fosters Memory
Think about how you learned the alphabet. Chances are, it was through song. Now consider other songs that have taken permanent residence in your brain. How often to find yourself singing along to a song with total and complete recollection of the lyrics? Even if you haven’t heard it in a long time.
Music has the power to stick with us. But it’s more than just lyrics. Students studying music have to commit to memory rhythms, pitches, dynamics, and a myriad of other elements that make up music. Such actions foster memorization skills that will benefit students on the academic level too.
6. Exposes Students to Different Cultures
Music, and all arts education really, give students a chance to explore different cultures. And not from the stodgy textbook perspective.
When students learn musical styles from other cultures, they’re also exposed to the stories that go with them. This expands their horizons, draws them out of their singular existence, and helps them appreciate and respect something new and unfamiliar – without fearing it.
And these days, recognizing differences as something positive rather than a reason to divide and hate is invaluable.
7. Helps Relieve Stress
It’s easy to forget that school can be very stressful for teens. They’re thinking about passing tests, finishing homework, making the team, getting the part, going to college, etc. all while trying to remain socially relevant. And they’re doing all of it while flooded with hormones that further confuse and confound.
Music gives many of them an outlet. For some, it’s the sheer act of listening that opens the creative floodgates. For others, performing music takes them away from their hectic lives. Whatever the case, music can provide significant stress relief for students so they can more effectively engage in and maybe even (somewhat) enjoy the whole education experience beyond it.
Curious About a Well-Rounded Education for Your Child?
Would you like to send your child to a school where music education is vital? Where he/she/they will be encouraged to also explore visual art, creative writing, dance, and theater as a means of learning?
If so, contact us today to schedule a tour of our school.
And let your child embrace those STEM subjects in a way that makes sense to them – through art.