It is important for students to have an education in the arts. While most would not challenge the fact that kids should have an arts education however in reality time and funding greatly influence the inclusion of arts in education. Many times when budget cuts need to be made, the first departments to suffer are the art departments including music education. Music programs in schools have been proven to help children in substantial ways. The benefits of music education include success in developing intelligence, school, life, and society. Some of the reasons that education in the arts are important are listed below.
Success In Society
- Students who have participated in band or chorus report the lowest lifetime use of substances including tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
- Scientific evidence has proven that an education in the arts makes students better at science and math.
- Colleges view an education in the arts and music a valuable experience.
- Arts is considered one of the six basic academic subject areas, according to The College Board, that students should study to help them succeed in college.
- The arts helps to create jobs, nonprofit organizations and art institutions generate billions of dollars in economic activity.
- Some of the best engineers and technical designers are practicing musicians.
Success In School
- Arts are considered one of the core academic subjects in school.
- Students who are consistently involved in instrumental music throughout their school career have a significantly higher math proficiency than those students that don’t study music.
- Students with experience in music appreciation and music performance scored higher on their SATs.
- Music students receive more awards and academic honors than non-music students.
- Music teachers have been proven to be huge role models for minorities.
- Students in elementary and middle school who participate in art programs have higher self-esteem and thinking skills.
Success In Developing Intelligence
- The brains of pianists, compared to those of non-musicians, are more efficient at making skilled movements.
- Musicians are constantly adjusting decisions with their music which helps train the brain to be incredibly good at multitasking.
- Reading sheet music helps to stimulate the brain in all four of the cortex lobes.
- Musicians have been shown to have a bigger planum temporale than those of non-musicians. (The planum temporale is a region of the brain related to reading skills)
- A study in 1994 showed that preschoolers who received eight months of keyboard lessons showed a 46% increase in spatial reasoning.
- At-risk students who participated in arts programs have a significant increase in self-concept.
Success In Life
- Studying music helps to encourage self-discipline which carries over into effective work and study habits.
- Music has the power to bring people together.
- Music helps young people to connect with themselves and others.
- Music making helps keep the elderly healthier as it helps to decrease anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
- Music helps students build skills in cooperation, creativity, and communication.
Music Education Resources
- MENC – The website of The National Association for Music Education, includes information on music classes, advocacy, and more.
- Early Childhood Music – An article discussing the importance of music and music education in early childhood.
- Benefits of Music – Information on the benefits of a music education, including some research and statistic information.