Benefits of Music Study
In recent years, there has been a great deal of focus on the secondary benefits of music study: higher grades in school, better discipline, etc. While these benefits are valid and useful, the primary benefit of music study is the ability to play music!
Imagine being able to sit down at a party and play "Happy Birthday" or your favorite tunes for friends. Imagine playing Christmas carols at family gatherings, or learning your favorite classics, such as "Für Elise" or "The Entertainer." You can go as far as you want to in piano lessons!
So as you read about the various secondary benefits acquired through music study, remember the best benefit of all: piano lessons give students the skills to play piano!
Music Training Improves Reasoning Skills
A group of preschoolers in California were given piano lessons once a week, while other members of their class received computer training, and a third group received no special instruction. The budding pianists scored 34% higher than the other groups on tests designed to measure spatial-temporal reasoning skills - those required for mathematics, chess, science and engineering. The computer kids scored no higher than the group who received no special instruction.
The study was led by psychologist Dr. Frances Rauscher of the University of Wisconsin and physicist Dr. Gordon Shaw of the University of California. "The high proportion of children who evidenced dramatic improvement in spatial-temporal reasoning as a result of music training should be of great interest to scientists and educators," said Dr. Shaw.
Drs. Rauscher and Shaw emphasize the causal relationship between early music training and the development of the neural circuitry that governs spatial intelligence. Their studies indicate that music training generates the neural connections used for abstract reasoning, including those necessary for understanding mathematical concepts.
Studies indicate that music-making is a key component of academic and social success. Learning to play a musical instrument is a rewarding experience for anyone, but is especially helpful to the development of children.
Music Study Advocacy Posters
Check out these 1-page PDF posters. Free to print and distribute!
- Musically experienced students scored higher on SATs
- Music students less likely to have substance abuse problems
- Music students score higher on standardized tests
- World's top academic countries value music education
- Classes given arts training show positive effects on tests and behavior
- Effect of arts study on national SAT scores
- Kids taught rhythm improved fraction test scores by 100%
- Band members get better math, science and language grades
- Music making earns 'A's with Americans
- Students who study music have better language skills
- College music majors enjoy greater success in med school admissions
- Intertwining piano lessons and math software results in math test scores over 100% higher
- Music-trained preschoolers outperform in spatial-temporal tests
- Rhythm keeps first graders on the academic beat