With all the talk of defunding music in public education, it is imperative that parents understand the benefits of keeping a music curriculum alive within their schools. There are a number of benefits to be found in teaching music to grades K – 12, and even before and beyond those ages, the benefits of music as an educational aid are too numerous to list. Following are a few taken directly from the National Association for Music Education website, along with observations from educators who have worked with children for many years.
Right Brain Activity Enhanced through Music
Many music teachers work full-time during the day within the school system and then strive to advance their degrees in their spare time. They do this because they believe in the benefits of music education. Did you know that music is a right brain activity as is language and reasoning? A teacher with an online MMME degree will tell you that some children who have severe stutters can learn to speak stutter-free through music therapy in the classroom!
Music Is Engaging
How many people have you ever met in your lifetime who didn’t like music? If you are able to name even one, that person is surely in a vast minority! Everyone loves music and it doesn’t take having earned an online master of music in music education to recognize this. While kids may have different tastes, they all enjoy listening to melodies and rhythms, so many teachers use music to enhance a specifically boring subject in which kids often lose interest. Working together with the classroom teacher, the music teacher plans lessons around the subject kids typically zone out of.
Helps Younger Children Learn Pattern Recognition
Actually, there are two very clear-cut ways in which music helps children, especially young children, learn to recognize patterns. The rhythmic structure is usually repetitive and there are melodic motifs that repeat as well. Music teachers can help children learn to recognize patterns by asking them to identify when the music changes to go back to where it started. Many classical pieces, such as those by Bach, have repeating motifs and that’s why he is the perfect classical composer to study in younger grades.
And, here we go back again to right brain activity. Creativity takes place in the right lobe and so you will know that a person has a right-dominant brain if they are highly resourceful and creative. By helping children to strengthen the right side of their brain you are helping them to learn to be creative. In the uncertainty of the world in which we live, a little bit of creativity can be your salvation in times of need with few or no resources. You learn to improvise and this is why music teachers often work heavily on improvisation in music appreciation classes.
So, there you have just a few of the reasons why, as a parent, it is your duty to ensure legislators and your local school board appropriates money to keep music education alive in our schools. You won’t know what your kids are missing until it’s too late.