To Make Your Kids More Successful, Teach Them Music!
Benefits of Music Education Shown to Include Leadership and Teamwork Skills
Besides being a sure way to become the life of the party, learning to play an instrument can make your children smarter, better adjusted, and better equipped to adopt a position of leadership in a diverse world. Some of the benefits of music education include the development of leadership and teamwork skills.
The idea that music education makes children smarter isn't just our opinion. Music has a mathematical precision; the rhythms, pitches, and motifs in musical composition can all be expressed with numbers and equations. Maybe that is why the 1993 Standardized Achievement Test (SAT) showed above-average scores in both mathematical and verbal portions of the test by high school students who studied music. At the time, President Bill Clinton and Education Secretary Richard Riley were calling for enriched arts education for all children.
Being smart is important, but it's also critical that children be well adjusted. Children with music education -- especially those in a school setting with other musicians -- develop the key people-skills that are essential to functioning in society, including teamwork, problem solving, and leadership. They gain from the hard work of music mastery, learning self-discipline and self-worth through accomplishments. Studies demonstrate that the students most likely to be elected to class office, achieve the highest grades, or receive honors for academic achievement are the students who -- you guessed it -- study music.
There is also an impossible to quantify, yet essential quality that music adds to each of our lives. If, as argued by the Oxford Review of Education as far back as 1996, the richness of music is itself enough justification for the teaching of it , then are music's other benefits unimportant? We do not believe so. Music education should and does have measurable benefits.
What we know is that music education helps children improve academic skills, develop leadership skills, and gain a sense of accomplishment. We also know that support for music education in public schools is always under financial pressure. You may have to resort to private or virtual lessons to help your children learn music. Be involved, pay attention, and behave as if your children's music education is as important as math and writing education. Why? Because it is.
But if that doesn't convince your son or daughter to study music, perhaps the fact that musicians are the life of the party will! Guitar players and singers and pianists are always in demand, no matter what the venue; whether in church musical groups or jazz combos or contemporary rock groups, with bass players and drummers close behind. With the current decline in support for music and arts education, it is more important than ever for parents to encourage their children to study music.