We tune in to eight reasons why music is important in students' educational curriculum
4 January 2022| Last updated on 11 January 2022
Everyone enjoys music; it is an art form that is timeless. Learning a musical instrument not only provides a child with a new skill, but builds community and gives them an inherent love for music.
In this article, we’ll discuss why offering music is important in an educational curriculum.
1. Music enhances academic skills.
Schools introduce music because students who play instruments or are exposed to music do better in school than those who aren’t. There is a link between musical instruction and language development among young children. Musical training stimulates and trains the same part of the brain that deals with language.
With varied sounds and lyrics, students learn a large amount of vocabulary in a short amount of time. Musical education gives them a greater understanding of tone and how different segments of speech align, which is useful for learning a second language.
Playing a musical instrument also stimulates your neural network. Compared to others who don’t play an instrument, musicians may have a larger growth of neural activity. Have you ever had songs play in your head? That’s because music is one of the easiest things to store in our memory.
Catchy melodies and patterns of sounds give music a way of “sticking” with us, and it’s a powerful tool for learning if used appropriately. Learning an instrument, musical language, and the notes and lyrics that make up songs all require memory. Students must recall rhythms, pitches, and other elements simultaneously. These memory skills can transfer to their studies.
Music is also connected to other subject areas and students may find it enhances their understanding of the arts, reading, writing, mathematics, and science. Learning rhythms in music is like math, which involves observing patterns and how elements go together visually.
2. Music can help relieve students' stress.
Music can help anyone feel more relaxed. The same goes for playing an instrument you enjoy. Listening to music helps to calm the mind, especially ambient music with sounds of nature—the soundtrack played often in spas.
In a Stanford University study, it was found that at 60 beats per minute, music causes our brain to synchronise and develop alpha brain waves, which are present when we’re relaxed. It can also help induce sleep after 45 minutes.
3. Music builds creativity and self-confidence in learning.
Music is creatively stimulating. Your child’s creativity can be sparked if they learn to create music by playing an instrument, singing, dancing, or simply engaging in their music class.
Learning to play music helps children build their self-confidence. If a child isn’t proficient in certain subjects, the musical skills they have and the ability to express themselves through music can boost their confidence and motivate learning in other areas.
4. Music improves hand-eye coordination.
Learning almost any instrument takes a significant amount of hand-eye coordination. Reading and interpreting musical notes and physically playing an instrument improves coordination and develops the brain.
Children repeat these steps throughout any performance of a musical piece. Even the youngest of learners will develop their coordination skills through practicing music.
Those who master an instrument can apply this skill to studies (writing, art) and other areas of life, including sports. Improving hand-eye coordination in childhood benefits us as adults.
5. Music builds a sense of perseverance and achievement.
Mastery in music requires plenty of practice and determination to improve. Music can teach children work ethic and the powerful lesson that they have to work hard to achieve something great.
When your child achieves a musical goal like playing at a recital or concert, taking part in a competition or winning an award, they’ll receive the sense of satisfaction that comes from working hard.
Because of this, performing on stage or for family members can be rewarding for children.
6. Music builds community and connects people across cultures.
Although children can play or enjoy music alone, your child will probably learn musical education in a group setting. Students develop listening skills when playing an instrument with others. They must listen to better gauge volume levels, rhythms and dynamics, learn to value the opinions and ideas of others, and combine their thoughts to complete tasks.
Music brings people together and allows your child to meet others and make friends. Children that take up music as an extracurricular activity will bond with like-minded children who share their interest. Music also encourages face-to-face contact in a time when children are increasingly spending more time online. As with sports, music offers the opportunity for children to learn vital life skills like teamwork. Whether it’s through a band, orchestra, or choir group, we need teamwork to create music.
As music is a universal language, it helps children connect to other cultures and understand the world around them, which fosters the knowledge learner profile attribute of the International Baccalaurates (IB) programme.
The Swiss International Scientific School Dubai is proud to offer various after-school music programmes from PreKG to G12.