Music Studying Boosts Academic Achievement in School
Studying Music Boosts Academic Achievement in High Schoolers
Early exposure to music increases the plasticity of brain helping to motivate the human brain’s capacity in such a way that it responds readily to learning, changing and growing. “UCLA professor James S. Catterall analyzed the academic achievement of 6,500 low-income students. He found that, by the time these students were in the 10th grade, 41.4% of those who had taken arts courses scored in the top half on standardized tests, contrasted with only 25% of those who had minimal arts experience. The arts students also were better readers and watched less television.” This goes to show that in the formative stages of life, kids who study music do much better in school.
Playing Guitar (and Other Instruments) Aids in Treating PTSD
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shared a study in which veterans experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experienced relief by learning to play guitar. The organization responsible for providing guitars, Guitars For Vets “enhances the lives of ailing and injured military Veterans by providing them free guitars and music instruction.” Playing music for recovery from PTSD resembles traditional music therapy, in which patients are encouraged to make music as part of their healing process. Guitar is not the only instrument that can help PTSD. In fact, Operation We Are Here has an extensive list of Therapeutic Music Opportunities For Military Veterans.
Studying Music Boosts Brain Development in Young Children
Organized music lessons appear to benefit children’s IQ and academic performance–and the longer the instruction continues, the larger the effect, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology (Vol. 98, No. 2).
“There is dose-response association,” says Schellenberg, explaining that in general, the longer a child takes lessons, the higher the IQ and the better the performance in school.
In the recent work, Schellenberg and his fellow researchers studied two groups of students: children 6 to 11 years old and college freshmen.
The younger group received an IQ test, an evaluation of their school grades and a measure of academic achievement. More than half of the group had taken musical lessons, either in private or group instruction.
The older students surveyed in a second study received an IQ test and supplied their high school grade point average. They also described how many years of musical instruction they had received and how many years they had regularly played a musical instrument.
A research-based study undertaken at the University of Liverpool in the field of neuroscience has light to shed on the beneficial effects of early exposure to music. According to the findings, even half an hour of musical training is sufficient to increase the flow of blood in the brain’s left hemisphere, resulting in higher levels of early childhood development.
The Portland Chamber Orchestra shares, “Playing a musical instrument involves multiple components of the central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral (nerves outside the brain and spinal cord) nervous systems. As a musician plays an instrument, motor systems in the brain control both gross and fine movements needed to produce sound. The sound is processed by auditory circuitry, which in turn can adjust signaling by the motor control centers. In addition, sensory information from the fingers, hands and arms is sent to the brain for processing. If the musician is reading music, visual information is sent to the brain for processing and interpreting commands for the motor centers. And of course, the brain processes emotional responses to the music as well!”
Musical Education Helps Children Improve Reading Skills
Journal Psychology of Music reports that “Children exposed to a multi-year program of musical tuition involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.” In the initial stages of learning and development, music arouses auditory, emotional, cognitive and visual responses in a child. Music also aids a child’s kinesthetic development. According to the research-supported evidence, a song facilitates language learning far more effectively than speech.