While most schools view music education as an extracurricular activity, it is actually very important to make a well-rounded student. Learning how to play an instrument and read music helps children in areas such as language development and discipline. Studies also show that children who play an instrument tend to get better test scores than their peers.
Public schools have been cutting “extras” (music, art, drama, etc…) out of their curriculums for the past few years. Private schools, on the other hand, seem to be extending their curriculums to include even more subjects that aren’t regularly seen in most core curriculums. For instance, children still have art and music in a school in Malaysia, along with subjects like design technology and informatics. The Prince of Wales Island International School (which can be found online at http://www.powiis.edu.my/) also offers courses in religion, dance, and morals.
For children ages two through nine, music is an important part of learning their first language. Likewise, having a firm understanding in language helps individuals process music later on in life. Musical training actually alters the brain in a physical way. The left side of the brain, which is responsible for language, organization, and logic, is strengthened when children are given the chance to learn about music.
Music education is also a great way to teach kids how to discipline themselves. Most children find music enjoyable enough so that they want to be able to make it themselves. As their skills increase, so does their desire to play more complicated music. The only way they can play harder pieces is if they practice. Once a child truly understands that practicing something is worth the time it takes, they will realize that disciplining themselves is the best way to get the results they are looking for. Because most people find making music is enjoyable from the start, they are more likely to practice compared to other school related pursuits.
Christopher Johnson published a study in 2007 that showed how much better off children really are if they are given the opportunity to practice an instrument regularly. Students in schools that had “superior” music education programs scored 20-22 percent higher in the areas of English and math than students in schools that had “low-quality” music programs.
Music education helps children with language development, test scores, and discipline, so why are most schools cutting it out of their curriculum?
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