Teachers have known this all along, but it is now confirmed by the research findings that explores the link between music and intelligence and reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math and science.
Learning an Instrument and the Brain
There are myriad physiological, intellectual and emotional developments linked to learning an instrument and playing music. Just a few of these include:
- improved coordination
- ability to learn & interpret a new symbolic language and coordinate this language
- cues with mechanical targets along a horizontal plane
- fine muscle development from required independent and simultaneous action of 10 individual fingers and control of speed, touch, and volume of each finger independently and simultaneously.
University of California, Irvine researchers worked with public school elementary-grade children in Orange County and Los Angeles. They found that children given only four months of music lessons and time with newly designed computer software scored 27-percent higher on math and fractions tests. The results were not nearly as significant among those without the music training. The program helped children regardless of income level, boosting the achievement of all students.
The long-lasting effects of early music training are evident in high school music students' SAT scores. According to information compiled by the National Assocation for Music Education in 2001, SAT takers with coursework and experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no experience in the arts.
In an article on Forbes.com, "Sorry, Kids, Music Lessons make you Smarter," E.J. Mundell explores the direct link between playing music, singing and IQ. The article focuses on studies conducted at the University of Toronto. Participants were tested before and after attending first grade. The first grade students who received music lessons scored approximately 39-percent higher in IQ measurements. There's no doubt anymore of the value of musical experience. It has been measured.
Encourage your child not to quit outside lessons. Almost any child who takes music lessons wants to quit sometimes. And parents get tired of nagging children to practice. However, experts warn parents against letting children quit so quickly. "Once children quit, they will most likely never begin again," says child development specialist Robin Goldstein. She suggests that parents:
- Watch your child practice. Many children are motivated by their parents' interest, praise and encouragement.
- Make the subject of the lessons a part of everyday life. If it's music, go to concerts with your child. Read books about musicians together.
- Make sure PLAY is part of the music.
- Let your child have some say. When children select their own music, they enjoy the music more. Children who say when they will practice are more committed to practicing.
- Set up a system of rewards. The promise of a treat at the end of a week or month can get a child to start practicing.
It's important for parents to teach their children how to stick with an activity. Learning self-motivation, perseverence and discipline is good for children both in and outside of school.
Music lessons are Good for Adults too!
- You may have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or bass...
- You may have had just a few lessons growing up and regret now that you quit taking lessons...
- You may just want to play or sing for your own enjoyment...
- You may just want to make that guitar sitting in the corner of one of the rooms of your house into more than just a pretty decorative conversation piece...
Music lessons provide...
Enjoyment, Relaxation, Self-Expression, Fun, Vitality, Joy, Pleasure, Fulfillment, Pride, Mental Actuity, Stress Relief, Exhiliration, Coordination, Confidence, Beauty, & Self-Discipline
You're never too old and it's never too late to learn!
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