Why it Matters

Read these important studies and articles about why music education makes such a difference for each and every child in our schools.

From happiness, to curiosity, to patience, to pattern recognition, to memory skills, to cultural awareness, to math skills, to overall brain development, to neural activity, music really does matter!

Help your kids remember more (and learn more!) with music.

"Further research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve a child's learning ability and memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development," says Maestro Eduardo Marturet, a conductor, composer and musical director for the Miami Symphony Orchestra. (http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814331/10-reasons-why-your-child-should-play-a-musical-instrument-1)

"Music is joyful and exciting and I like singing with all of my favorite friends and it is fun to play the piano. That is always joyful and exciting too. Music is fun because I get to try new instruments and I get to perform in front of a real audience. It is super duper fun and always joyful."

~ Saskia, 1st Grader

Picking up an instrument can also help your child break out of their social shell too, experts say.

"Socially, children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble learn important life skills, such as how to relate to others, how to work as a team and appreciate the rewards that come from working together, and the development of leadership skills and discipline," says Marturet, who also oversees the MISO Young Artist program in South Florida, which allows young musicians to hone their musical skills as part of a professional orchestra. (http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814331/10-reasons-why-your-child-should-play-a-musical-instrument-1)

"Music means playing the xulophone. It means singing with Connor. It means use my brain to sing. Music class makes me excited."

~ Sid, 2nd Grader

We live in a world of instant gratification, but real life demands having patience.

When you are playing in a band or orchestra (and most musicians do), you have to be willing to wait your turn to play otherwise the sound is a mess. That inadvertently teaches patience. "You need to work together in a group to make music," says Dotson-Westphalen. (http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814331/10-reasons-why-your-child-should-play-a-musical-instrument-1)

"I like playing the recorder because I play guitar and it's fun to know 2 instruments and I like to hear everyone play as a group. Also, my family likes ot hear me practice at home. Music is so fun!"

~ Olivia, 3rd Grader

and the discipline that parents AND kids learn by sticking with it is a lesson in itself," says Mira Stulberg-Halpert of 3D Learner Inc., who works with children who have ADHD. (http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814331/10-reasons-why-your-child-should-play-a-musical-instrument-1/page:2)

"Having music class in my lift is great, because I love music. It's something I've been doing since as long as I can remember. It makes me very warm and happy inside. It's a great opportunity for me to have music class and I love it."

~ Cameron, 4th Grader

Music and math are highly intertwined.

By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns. It seems that music wires a child's brain to help him better understand other areas of math, says Lynn Kleiner, founder of Music Rhapsody in Redondo Beach, CA. (http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/benefits-of-music-lessons/)

By learning about and playing a variety of instruments, kids can discover how music plays a critical role in other cultures.

For instance, bongos and timbales may introduce children to African and Cuban styles of music. (http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/benefits-of-music-lessons/)

“A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children

as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music. (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/)

“There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity

than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain,” says Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University. (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/)

A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy

at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts. (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/)

Albert Einstein: “Life without playing music is inconceivable for me,”

he once said, “I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music… I get most joy in life out of music.” (http://www.openculture.com/2013/06/the_musical_mind_of_albert_einstein.html)

There is a massive benefit from being musical that we don’t understand, but it’s individual.

Music is for music’s sake,” Rasmussen says. “The benefit of music education for me is about being musical. It gives you have a better understanding of yourself. The horizons are higher when you are involved in music,” he adds. “Your understanding of art and the world, and how you can think and express yourself, are enhanced.” Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/)

Who doesn't sometimes feel a little disconnected from their lives? Music can be a much-needed connection for kids (and adults too!).

"It can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose, such as excessive eating, drinking, or TV or aimless web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another," says Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians. (http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/814331/10-reasons-why-your-child-should-play-a-musical-instrument-1/page:2)