Besides the obvious reasons of enjoyment, relaxation and inspiring yourself and others, music benefits those who play it in many important ways. Music defines and builds self esteem and self confidence in accomplishment, aids in community interaction and develops the ability to work constructively with others. Studies have also shown that music education improves overall academic abilities. Here are some findings:
-A finding from the University of California, Irvine showed that young children who had taken piano lessons showed considerable improvement in their spatial and temporal reasoning skills. These skills are important for education in higher math and science. The group given training in computers did not show the same results.
- Studies at Stanford University found that “learning to control rhythm and tempo in group music-making helps students perform other routine activities with more ease and efficiency.” Fred Hargadon, Dean of Admissions for Stanford University said in a 1983 interview “We look for students who have taken part in orchestra, symphonic band, chorus and drama. It shows a level of energy and an ability to organize time.that they can carry a full academic load and learn something else.”
- The Texas Music Educators Association released comparisons between the Texas All-State Music Groups and both Texas and national averages of SAT scores. The All State students exceeded both averages in 1997, and in many cases by over 200 points.
- Neurologist Frank Wilson conducted a recent study on brain usage amongst musicians. Results showed that musicians use much more of their brain in comparison to those performing normal tasks. A person who is playing or singing on a regular basis is exercising the entire brain, stimulating their minds more than those that aren’t exposed to music education.
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