Why Music Education - music education benefits

Why Music Education?

What Music and Rhythm can do to positively affect children’s abilities in learning: According to AlternativeDepressionTherapy .com:

• Ability to focus inward as well as outward: the intuitive parts of our brain are different than the logical part of our brain, however when our bodies are tied down to a rhythm and a melody both our sense of time and our imagination is working. This is something that does not happen at the same time usually but when playing or listening to music it does.

• Develop self-awareness and self-esteem: In simple words when the child feels that he/she is producing something that you are listening to and is related to the very moment it gives them a sense of responsibility and self awareness that increases self-esteem.

• Mastery of breath and movement: once your body is entrained by following a certain rhythm and because of the effect on the entire brain and the production of T-Cells your body then automatically starts breathing in the same pulse you are moving with, which is something very healthy for the body. This is similar to advise given about breathing when swimming for an example.

• Ability to stay “on task”: Rhythm simply ties you down to certain repetitive movement that requires keeping it, something that supports the ability of a child to stay on task and teaches great discipline. The good news is that there is no need to explain to a child what is a wrong rhythm, you just have to play a beat and their body and your body will instinctively follow it!

• Improve listening skills: Again playing music gives you an exact equal repetition of pulses that you have to stick to while listening to the melody that accompanies, this practice is proven to help children increase their ability to listen particularly because when you hear a melody over a musical bar you will naturally wait for it to repeat and when it changes you will try to look for the new pattern. This way of thinking in patterns helps you organize the way you think which benefits a lot in solving complex math and physics problems that require more than one step which of course benefits learning in general too.

• Increase Frustration Tolerance: When you start learning a musical piece or a technique you go through a little frustration reaching it but because of the positive effect of sound you are constantly rewarded step by step until you reach your goal, this is very important to the idea of not giving up when you do not get results from the very beginning. This teaches children how to not get frustrated so easily when they get stuck solving any kind of problem no matter whether it was a math problem, a chemistry equation , memorizing a poem or playing a small melody on a piano.

• Channel aggressive/destructive impulses into creative and positive activity: there is no doubt that there is big frustration relief in playing music whether you are playing a soft relaxing melody on a piano or an Oud , or aggressively banging on a drum or a tabla , going back to the scientific fact that T-Cells (Immune System) are released in the brain from playing or listening to a rhythm , the child now is simply feeling better physically similar to an effect of a pain killer.

• Develop self-control, patience and cooperation: Because a rhythm and a melody forces you to mechanically follow it , when students play music they are obligated to follow the rhythm and the melody, to stay in tune and on tempo. Something that teaches a great deal of self control and with no control effort given by a teacher. In addition when you start playing in groups this improves group work cooperation and a sense of community because you and your classmates are producing something together.

• Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds

• There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day Rhythm from a therapeutic point of view: The positive effect would be on both students and teachers from a pure physiological point of view. How? Music is simply rhythm and melody. According to Michael Thaut, director of Colorado State University’s Center for Biomedical Research in Music, Vision for example is in one part of the brain, speech another, but rhythm accesses the whole brain .The sound of drumming generates dynamic neuronal connections in all parts of the brain even where there is significant damage or impairment such as in Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Studies have shown that T-Cells (responsible for the immune system) increase after just one drumming or Music session. Research has demonstrated that the physical transmission of rhythmic energy to the brain synchronizes the two cerebral hemispheres. When the logical left hemisphere and the intuitive right hemisphere begin to pulsate in harmony, the inner guidance of intuitive knowledge can then flow unimpeded into conscious awareness. The ability to access unconscious information through symbols and imagery facilitates psychological integration and a reintegration of self. Drumming also synchronizes the frontal and lower areas of the brain, integrating nonverbal information from lower brain structures into the frontal cortex, producing “feelings of insight, understanding, integration, certainty, conviction, and truth, which surpass ordinary understandings and tend to persist long after the experience, often providing foundational insights for religious and cultural traditions.” Some of the above points are a little bit too scientific; however the easiest way of understanding that is the following: put on a song, or a musical piece, any song and try to play a different rhythm with a different speed while the song is playing. It would be impossible! No matter how hard you try it will not work. This is simply because your body will naturally be entrained and following the pulse of the song playing, and therefore this is where the idea of discipline, staying on task, listening and coordinating comes from.

More obvious benefits of music

In addition to all the research and studies done on the benefits of music in learning, especially on a child’s development, here are some points that are more obvious and clear to all of us:

–          Confidence and Presentation skills naturally improve when a child starts playing music and performing even if performing meant playing a small music piece to parents and teachers. The little anxiety before performing is something very important for a child to encounter at an early stage.

–          Music gives a sense of belonging in group singing and performance and help one understand their own culture.

–          Music opens and eye to other cultures and helps children become communicative and understanding to different cultures of the world

–          In music a mistake is a mistake! Meaning that the instrument is either in tune or not, this teaches a lot of discipline.

The benefits of music are many especially in child development, there are many studies even showing higher SAT scores of students who have had musical practice when they were young. Further more if i3zif and Madrasati manage to launch the program at all schools in Jordan that amount of talent that can be discovered will be very big m because until this day accessibility to music is only available in big cities which means that there are many hidden talents waiting to be discovered.

Sources:

http://www.alternativedepressiontherapy.com/

http://healing.about.com/od/drums/a/drumtherapy.htm