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The Amazing, Scientifically-Backed Benefits of Music Lessons

Monday, August 10, 2020 by Marcie Monaco | Uncategorized


Do you have an energetic child that you always have to re-direct? “Don’t touch that!”  “Pay attention when I am talking, please.”  “Leave your sister alone!”


Is your child struggling academically?  Is your child academically gifted? Is your child struggling with strong emotions, such as anxiety or perfectionism? 


I have a scientifically-backed solution for you!


Have you considered putting your child in music lessons?  


BEHAVIOR BENEFITS: 


Suzuki study results:  Four groups of students were compared: Children who were at home, children who were at school, children who received weekly group lessons in music, and children who received private music lessons. The results showed that children in private lessons focussed longer, worked more accurately, and received fewer corrective instructions from the teachers, when children were observed in a traditional classroom environment. (corrective instructions: “Johnny, sit down!” “Susie, walking feet, please!” “Michael, keep your hands to yourself.”)


Scott, Laurie. “Attention and Perseverance Behaviors of Preschool Children Enrolled in Suzuki Violin Lessons and Other Activities.” Journal of Research in Music Education, vol. 40, no. 3, 1992, pp. 225–235. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/3345684. Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.


Radiological Society of North America published a recent study showing improved brain fiber connections in children who regularly take music lessons, particularly in the frontal cortex, which is an area that is underdeveloped in children with ADHD. 



PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS:


Kodaly study results:   Zoltan Kodaly was a hungarian composer and musicologist.  He began advocating for higher standards for music education in the 1940s.  The government implemented his ideas in an experimental preschool, then performed studies in subsequent years comparing the children in the new school to children in traditional schools.  The researchers controlled for socio-economic status, age, gender, etc..   Children who were exposed to one hour of formal music training per day, taught by a TRAINED MUSIC TEACHER, were compared to children in a typical school, who were exposed to about 20 minutes of music in the context of classroom activities, led by the classroom teacher. The results were astounding.  The children in the experimental group scored significantly higher not only in academics and cognitive processes, but in psychological we-being as well. 



Barkóczi Ilona, and Pléh Csaba. Music Makes a Difference: the Effect of Kodálys Musical Training on the Psychological Development of Elementary School Children. Kecskemét: Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, 1982.


A study from the University of Vermont, showed that children who play an instrument have less anxiety, better overall feelings of wellbeing, and showed higher attention to detail than those who didn’t. AND THE LONGER THE STUDENT STUDIED ON an instrument, the more profound the effect. 


Children with formal music training were more behaviorally and emotionally mature than their non-musical peers, and showed superior motor skills. https://www.jaacap.org/article/S0890-8567(14)00578-4/abstract



COGNITIVE AND ACADEMIC BENEFITS: 


A study by the University of Maryland showed that children age 6-11 who took private lessons for a year or more scored significantly higher on IQ tests than those who didn’t. Researchers controlled for parents’ income and level of education, as well as children’s other activities. Other notable differences included: 

*Increase in IQ scores

*Promotes intellectual development

*Achieve higher test scores on standardized tests and other proficiency exams

*More cooperative with teachers and peers

*More self-confident

*Better able to express their ideas verbally

*Improvements in hand-eye coordination, concentration, memory development, listening skills and the overall process of learning

*Enhanced self-esteem and confidence as they perform in front of a teacher on a weekly basis and participate regularly in recitals or other performances


Schellenberg, E. G. (2006). Long-term positive associations between music lessons and IQ. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(2), 457–468. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.98.2.457


Multiple studies show that students with music training have higher GPAs than children with none. The College Board showed that musical students had higher overall standarized test scores. 


The university of Michigan showed that 93% of STEM graduates had musical training as children, vs. only 34% of average adults. 


Trained musicians scored higher in language and math and had lower drop-out rates. 


Northwestern University: “Music programs can literally remodel children’s brains in a way that improves sound processing, which can lead to better learning and  language skills. 


Music improves both cognitive and non-cognitive skills at twice the rate of sports, dance, or theatre. 


A recent study found changes in the brain images of children who underwent 15 months of weekly music instruction and practice. The students in the study who received music instruction had improved sound discrimination and fine motor tasks, and brain imaging showed changes to the networks in the brain associated with those abilities, according to the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research.


Research has also found a causal link between music and spatial intelligence, which means that understanding music can help children visualize various elements that should go together, like they would do when solving a math problem.


Research by Dr. Frances Rauscher, Endowed Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, suggests that the study of music dramatically enhances children's ability to reason abstractly. 


OTHER BENEFITS


Trained musicians are more effective at switching from one task to another.


Music training shows a protective effect against Alzheimer’s. 


Music can make us feel nostalgic, melancholy, or energized. It also promotes empathy!  https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735612440609


Music improves immunological response.