Creative Child

3 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools

by Rebecca Eanes

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Better Math Skills

Music improves spatial-temporal reasoning which is imperative for working through complex math problems. A UCLA study found that music education plays a major role in closing the achievement gap. They noted that disadvantaged students who performed with their school band or orchestra were more than twice as likely to perform at the highest levels of math as peers who did not receive music training. Furthermore, kids who learned fractions through a music based curriculum outperformed peers in traditional math classes.

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Improved Brain Function

Laurel Trainor, director for the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University says that even a year or two of music training leads to enhanced levels of memory and attention. Harvard University researcher Gottfried Schlaug also studied the cognitive effects of music training and found a correlation between early childhood music training and enhanced motor and auditory skills.

A study in 2013 led by Concordia University psychology professor Virginia Penhune and her team found that people who had music training early in life had stronger connections between motor regions and enhanced white matter in the corpus callosum, a bundle of nerve fibers that connect the left and right motor regions of the brain.

Finally, a 2014 study from Boston Children’s Hospital found a possible biological link between early music training and improved executive function in both children and adults. Executive functions are the higher-level cognitive processes that allow us to regulate our behavior, solve problems, and quickly process and retain information. Senior investigator Nadine Gaab, PhD, stated, “"Since executive functioning is a strong predictor of academic achievement, even more than IQ, we think our findings have strong educational implications. While many schools are cutting music programs and spending more and more time on test preparation, our findings suggest that musical training may actually help to set up children for a better academic future."

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.

 

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