Music: Benefits For Children’s Development

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Music: Benefits For Children’s Development

By Lexing Zou, GIS Student

“Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it’s essential to being human.”
– Jewel (singer, songwriter and instrumentalist)

Music is not just everyday entertainment for humans but also a tool to benefit children’s learning and their understanding of music. In 2008, President Barack Obama stated that he believes the arts should be taught in every school and viewed as an important subject. He argued that schools only focus on getting students to  read, learn math and to hand homework on time. As a result, it has crowded out the importance of music and students have lost connection to this fun and beneficial subject. Obama suggested that listening to music can increase a child’s creativity, confidence and a lot more. Music is also a way to link happiness to children and let them be in their own little world, relaxing and expressing their emotions.

The Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a study that shows specifically what music does to humans. They have proved that learning music changes the way the brain works or how the brain actually looks. It benefits the brain by connecting it together and even increasing IQ. In the last few decades, neuron scientists have investigated on how the brain works. They set tasks for people to carry out, such as reading books or doing math equations. They found that when the subjects listened to music, ‘fireworks’ set off inside their brains. What are these fireworks? They are actually electricity when your brain is filled with ideas. They buzz between brain neurons so it connects better. The neurons connect when they learn something new or become very focused.

When musicians play music they look focused and at peace on the outside, but inside, the brain is actually doing brain exercise. In fact, a study by Ellen Winner (professor of psychology from Boston college) and Gottfried Schlaug (professor of neurology from Harvard Medical School) showed significant improvements in the brain when children underwent 15 months of weekly music education. Impressively, they had improved their sound discrimination and fine motor skills.

It is always good to be able to play an instrument or to have a habit of listening to music. Not only does it improve your creativity, problem solving skills and confidence, but it also benefits the way your brain works and how it thinks. Studies show that students who play an instrument often perform better at school and have better chances of achieving academically.

Music has a huge impact on the world in cultural, moral and emotional aspects. It is a universal language that we all understand. It connects us together by letting us open our minds and fills us with imagination. The great things that music does to our world is remarkable. It will always let us relax and be happy. Music will always be remembered and continue to be an important part of our social and academic life.

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”

—Plato

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