By Shelly Suarez
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So here we all are. The economy is still warbling and families are struggling with where to place their trust and their money. What’s a safe investment anymore? In the years prior to the housing bubble bursting a home was thought of as one of the most solid investments a family could make. We have all seen that idea collapse. So, what is a family to do? Where do we place our money and feel confident we will not “lose” our investment. The answer is education.
Education IS the last solid investment. No matter what circumstances you are faced with as time passes, your education can not be taken from you. It increases your ability to move through the world more competently.
Musical education, specifically, is a preparation for every aspect of life. At the youngest of ages, music education’s benefits can be seen in the confidence, self-respect and patience children exhibit through musical exploration and performance. There is significant evidence that a music education background benefits children and adults in all areas of a successful life.
Studies have shown that:
– Preschoolers given keyboard lessons showed a 46% boost in spatial reasoning.
– Kindergarteners given music instruction scored almost 50% higher on spatial-temporal skill tests.
– Musical training can enhance lifelong attention skills, intelligence, expression and self knowledge.
– Music training is superior to computer training for enhancing a child’s math and science proficiency by developing abstract reasoning skills.
– Musical training can enhance brain functions.
– Students who participate in music education programs at a young age show significant increases in their cognitive thinking skills and self-esteem.
– At-risk children show significant increases in self-esteem and self-concept by participating in an arts program.
– Music education and study develops self-discipline and proper work habits that are transferable to all academic areas and pursuits.
– Children who are involved in music receive more awards and academic achievements than children not involved in music.
– Students who report consistently high levels of involvement in music, specifically in instrumental music, show exceedingly higher levels of math proficiency.
– Secondary students who play an instrument have reported the lowest overall lifetime and current substance abuse.
– Music education allows us a glimpse not only into ourselves, but into others and their different cultural and ethnic societies. It also aids in tolerance of different ways of thought, etc
– Statistically, students involved in music instruction have fewer disruptive behaviors (i.e. in-school disciplinary actions, skipping classes, drop-outs, arrests, etc.).
– Schools with the highest academic achievement scores spend 20-30% of their day focused on the arts.
– Students who have experience with music instruction and performance score higher overall on the SAT’s than children without musical experience.
– The College Board identifies the arts as one of the six core academic subject areas to study to ensure later success in college.
– Music students have a higher percentage of admissions to medical school than students with a non-music background
– Some of the nation’s top business professionals and highly effective, successful people agree that music study is an essential part of education
– Performing and studying music helps make the elderly healthier by decreasing depression, loneliness, etc.
– Elderly adults participating in group music classes show an increase in human growth hormones
Shall we go on? We could!
Knowing that we are still in a time of fluctuation as a nation we must also see this as a time for great opportunity. It is a time to get back to the fundamentals that made this society great. As we look at other countries and cultures that are thriving around the world they do have a common denominator – education. And music education is a solid, fundamental basic at the core of their school systems for students from a very young age into and throughout adulthood.
Dr. Max Bendiner was quoted as saying, “Music may achieve the highest of all missions: she may be a bond between nations, races, and states, who are strangers in many ways; she may unite what is disunited and bring peace to what is hostile.”
Let us look forward to the future with hope and confidence feeding our minds and spirits with the music so essential to our humanity and prosperity. Play on!
Shelly Suarez is CEO of Learn Now Music, Inc. which offers in-home and on-site individual and group music instruction, instruments and supplies in DC, VA, MD, CA and FL. Visit their website at www.LearnNowMusic.com or call 1-800-399-6414 for more information on lessons, instrument rentals and sales, piano tuning and repair services, sheet music and supplies.
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