Listening to music has been popular since ancient times until the present, but playing music is not much so. Most people are probably content to just listening to songs, as learning how to play them on an instrument can be quite a daunting task. However, there are essays about music stating that playing instruments proves to be a much more satisfying experience, as you will be able to understand more about the intricacies of the songs you are playing, and you will feel happy that you are able to play the songs yourself.
Thankfully, most schools around the world are teaching music to students, particularly children who are in elementary school. Now, you may be wondering, why would they teach a subject considered as an act of leisure in schools? Well, there are numerous advantages to learning music, and here are some of them.
Helps in Language Development
According to an article published by PBS, children who are learning how to play music not only develop the knowledge in identifying sounds and notes but also in language and reasoning as well. Studies show that music education helps in the development of the left side of the brain, which is said to be responsible for a person’s ability to process language. By learning how to play instruments, children will have an easier time deciphering and gathering information as well.
One of the most important things to do while playing music is to remember the notes or the chords that should be played in a specific part of a song, and because children have to memorize the notes included in a musical piece, it greatly enhances their memory. For beginners, there would be sheet music given to them so that they will have a guide on which notes to play. However, as the lesson progresses, the music teacher may take away the sheet during the exam and let the students play without one. Getting a good grade in the subject motivates children to memorize the sheet music, and without even realizing it, their memory is becoming sharper and sharper the more they don’t rely on sheet music.
Even if a student is only learning one instrument such as a plastic trumpet, there are dozens of different ways to play it, and it is up to him or her to discover these playing methods. Learning music is said to improve the creative thinking of children, as they are allowed to “think outside the box” when it comes to playing their assigned instruments. If the student is creative enough, he or she may even be able to write a song. The creativity in music can also be applied in other aspects of life in these children’s future, as they may also have the ability to think outside the box for other tasks such as school projects or even office work. In addition, the National Association for Music Education stated that creative thinking developed through learning how to play music enhances the children’s ability to solve problems not only by one solution but more.
Improves Brain Function
Besides memorization, playing music also requires the student to keep a close eye on where his or her hands are in the instrument, as well as keeping the ears focused on the part of the song that he or she is playing. Because of all of these activities being performed at once, the brain is forced to work harder and harder, and because of this, the brain is getting better at performing other functions too. In fact, research suggests that children who are learning how to play music have a significant growth in neural activity compared to those who didn’t learn. Not only does playing music enhance the brain, but it also improves the person’s hand-to-eye coordination.
There have been a few studies related to how music education helps increase children’s IQ, and most of them have proven that learning how to play music does make children more intelligent. The most interesting study on music education was conducted by the University of Toronto’s E. Glenn Schellenberg, who concluded that children who were participating in music classes have IQs that are three points higher than those who didn’t take lessons. The increase in IQ can also be connected to how the brain gets better at performing functions due to the memorization, hand-to-eye coordination, and focused listening that are being done simultaneously. Because of the many activities and skills that are being acted at once by the child who is playing music, it also increases their ability to multitask, which is one of the traits seen mostly in people who have high IQ.
So these are the benefits of music education to children, and from reading this article, you may already see that music education does not only teach children how to play instruments, but the subject also helps in improving their thinking and motor skills.