Have you ever wondered about the value of music classes for your children?
We’re not talking about the smattering of music education that takes place during the school day but real musical study that takes place on weekends and during weekday evenings. Many parents are curious about whether additional study hours will help or hinder academic success for their kids.
If you are of one of the many parents with questions like these, there is some very good news.
Music education is one of the most effective ways of helping children become successful in their daily schoolwork.
That’s because learning how to play an instrument or how to sing can do wondrous things for the brain. Not only does early childhood music education spur neurological growth, it also helps make the brain more adaptive for all other kinds of learning.
What are the specific benefits for kids who take music lessons? In addition to overall learning enhancement, they naturally develop better memories, sharper math skills, stronger verbal capabilities and higher IQ scores. Here’s a breakdown of how each one of these advantages plays out:
Across-the-Board Learning Enhancement
- Cognitive development
One of the newest research findings connected to early childhood musical education is something scientists call neuroplasticity. The term refers to the human brain’s capacity for adaptation throughout life. This unique, powerful quality is created early in life through activities like learning to play an instrument or learning how to sing. Clearly, one of the key benefits of early childhood music education is neuroplasticity.
Once the brain has learned how to adapt to new situations, it can learn practically any new skill, including both simple and complex tasks like reading, mathematics, spatial reasoning and much more. Music training “primes the brain” to learn other things, even subjects unrelated to music. The phenomenon might help to explain why music students tend to do so much better in every school subject, both as youngsters and adults.
Better Language Skills
One of the non-obvious advantages of music education is in the area of language skills. What experts have long known is now proven out by research: kids who study music do better in their native language courses and foreign language classes.
Because the same part of the brain that takes in musical education also plays a key role in language acquisition, there’s a double benefit to studying music. That means music lessons can also help pupils who want to learn French, Spanish or Russian. Music lessons teach the brain how to learn new concepts, words and symbols. That explains something educators have noticed for decades: kids who study music are more adept with foreign languages and with their own language.
Cognitive development and enhanced memory skills resulting from music lessons appear to carry over into adulthood, according to studies involving medical students. In addition to boosting academic success from early grades through college, music study can deliver a double-advantage in some cases. Among people who apply for admission to medical schools, for instance, those who majored in music during their college years are more likely to be admitted than students whose majors were math, biology, chemistry or English. That says a lot about the ability of music education to enhance just about every other facet of learning, from pre-school through college, and perhaps beyond.
Helps Develop a More Powerful Memory
Music students have better memories that their counterparts who do not study music, according to research. Not only does music teach the brain how to memorize, it helps build neural networks that help children with reasoning and planning. Because both short- and long-term memory skills are based on attention, mental focus, and concentration, music classes appear to be the ideal way for young people to develop mature memory skills.
Boosts Math, Verbal and General Intelligence
Numerous studies support the long-held notion that early childhood music instruction builds strong minds in multiple subjects and disciplines, like math, science, general verbal functions, standardized testing and IQ. One of the many reasons is related to the ability of a music curriculum to deliver solid results in terms of brain growth, memory and mental adaptability. Perhaps no other pursuit is able to offer so many advantages at once.
In short, students who pursue music lessons outside of their general schoolwork will see better results in:
- Math and science grades
- Overall IQ
- Verbal abilities
- Test scores
Scientists who are involved in trying to uncover the neurological mechanisms behind the power of music study often point out that music classes are to the human brain what physical exercise is to the body. Practically anyone can get through life doing little or no exercise. They might not be in very good shape, might suffer frequent injuries and other difficulties, but they could live day to day without breaking a sweat.
Likewise, your child could go through his or her entire academic career without music, but why let any child face the rigors of school work with an “un-exercised” mind? Music lessons help build the mental muscle that can propel a youngster from average to excellent. When you stop to think about it, there’s really no reason not to enroll a child in music lessons. Not only do kids get the primary reward of learning how to play an instrument or sing well, but they’ll also acquire a sharper memory, a finer mind and all the tools needed for complete academic success.
What Can Parents Do?
There is no longer a question about the value of early childhood music education. It’s not about being “born with a gift” for music, having perfect pitch or coming from a family of musicians. The main point, based on dozens of major research studies, seems to be that music education makes the brain adaptable, resilient and accurate.
Most experts say that younger children get some of the longest-lasting advantages, but children of any age can acquire significant scholastic benefits from something as simple as a twice-per-week guitar or piano lesson. Vocal training offers the same menu of benefits because the same kinds of skills are learned.
Learning to play an instrument or sing in tune can not only enhance memory but also bolster the IQ, turn kids into better language-learners and deliver lifelong academic benefits, even into one’s adult professional life.
At Prodigies Music (Prodigiesmusic.com), our staff knows how important it is for children to learn music the right way. That means all our classes and one-on-one lessons are designed to be fun, interesting and challenging. We have learned that kids look forward to their music classes when they get positive feedback and competent help as they go through the lesson plans from day one.
Whether your children are three or 16, you’ll be contributing to their academic potential in a profound way by enrolling them in a Prodigies Music class. As the experts say, the earlier the better, so make an appointment to visit our website today. Put your child on the road to academic excellence and a wonderful life.