The Benefits Of Music Education Essay

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Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the smartest men who has ever lived."(O'Donnell 1). Music has made an impact on a variety people all over the world. Music has to start somewhere, and that is in schools. In today's world, many schools are terminating their music department, which is depriving students of a fun and great opportunity. When music is applied to a student, many benefits are the result, including preparation for a good work ethic and a strong self esteem. To add to that, music can be applied to all sorts of students included kids diagnosed with autism. One final, but very significant note is that music not only affects a person mentally, but physically as well.

To begin with, a music class builds a strong structure for a strong work ethic, acting in one way as discipline. According to the National Association for Music Education, "Several national education associations identify the arts as essential learning in which students must demonstrate achievement." As a student is educated by the arts, they need guidance from expertise, like educated teachers, because music needs its discipline for its knowledge (MENC 2). Possessing discipline is a necessity towards a successful future. One other critical point of being able to do well in life is the ability of being self-sufficient. "Involvement in the arts is one avenue by which at-risk youth can acquire the various competencies necessary to become economically self-sufficient over the long term, rather than becoming a financial strain on their states and communities." States the National Association for Music Education (MENC 1). With a music class, students need the ability of responsibility and not relying on everyone else to complete their practice and showing care towards a high-priced instrument (for band or orchestra students); a course like this could influence such characteristics as these.

Furthermore, music raises one's self esteem level. Because of music, kids can grow a greater self-esteem level and improve their reaction with other students (Kids Health 1). One cannot stress how vital a good quality self esteem is. Music does this in a mysterious way. Music allows connection to a person's inner self and feelings (MENC 2). to add to that, music carries the power to alter someone's attitude (O'Donnell 2). With this type of influence, music can help through some very difficult times, one of these being grief. When a person is suffering anguish, music can aide in the recovery (Care for the Dying 7). Everybody on the Earth carries some manner of emotions. For a human to be able to alter how theirs functions is very beneficial for themselves.

There is some logic behind the correlation of music and the brain. According to the University of Maryland, People can gain joy from the fact that the vessels enlarge and the blood floods their vessels. To prove such conduct, the university held a study. "Ten healthy, non-smoking volunteers (70 percent male, average age 36 years) participated in all phases of the randomized study. There were four phases. In one, volunteers listened to music they selected that evoked joy. The volunteers brought recordings of their favorite music to the laboratory, or, if they did not own the music, the investigators acquired the recordings. Another phase included listening to a type of music that the volunteers said made them feel anxious. In a third session, audio tapes to promote relaxation were played and in a fourth, participants were shown videotapes designed to induce laughter." The results showed they were accurate with their statement. "Compared to baseline, the average upper arm blood vessel diameter increased 26 percent after the joyful music phase, while listening to music that caused anxiety narrowed blood vessels by six percent. "I was impressed with the highly significant differences both before and after listening to joyful music as well as between joyful and anxious music," says Dr. Miller.  During the laughter phase of the study, a 19 percent increase in dilation showed a significant trend. The relaxation phase increased dilation by 11 percent on average; a number that the investigators determined was not statistically significant." (Promote Heart Health 2). Health should be a prime issue in everyone's lives. A healthy life can cause many beneficial factors like a longer life and a better one. Music does not only act in one way to physically assist people. The listening of classical music, especially baroque music, has multiple mental and physical effects.  To start, music can lower a person's pulse to the beats per minute of the music.  In addition, this style of music leads to being able to concentrate easier (O'Donnell 2). People do all types of methods of living a healthier lifestyle. This is a simple exercise leading towards a healthier life. This is something that can be completed essentially everywhere. Music acts one other way towards the body. "Music also affects breathing rate and electrical resistance of the skin." Claims Laurence O'Donnell, author of multiple articles based on music (O'Donnell 2).

A music class could involve anybody in a school, including autistic students. "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain."(Hourigan 40). An autistic student can profit immensely from something as simple as a music class. One challenge struggled by autistic kids is social problems; many just want to live in an isolated world.  By applying students with autism to the band or chorus room, they are exposed to more students and learn with a variety of students. Another struggle with autistic students is that they suffer a chronic tumult in the category of verbal contact (Hourigan 41). At Pontiac Township High School, there is an autistic student placed in the band; he plays percussion. The music department has really opened him up socially. He is friends with a majority of the students and all of his peers are very friendly back and call him a friend. "Our goal is to offer suggestions that will lead to more independence for the child in your music classroom.  This includes allowing a child with autism the opportunity to establish classroom routines, appropriate behavior, communication, and the ability to acquire music skills and understandings." Declared music therapist Amy Hourigan and professor of music education Ryan Hourigan on applying autistic students into the music department (Hourigan 45). Every student matters in a high school, and that is why every student needs to be included. A music class can be open to any student who wants to apply themselves.

Likewise, music is an enhancer for the brain. Multiple studies claim that music had a direct association with brain development, such as a study performed by the National Association for Music Education, "Statistically significant links are now being reported between music instruction and tested intelligence in preschool children. In one widely cited study (Neurological Research, Feb. 1997), after six months, students who had received keyboard instruction performed 34% higher on tests measuring temporal-spatial ability than did students without instruction. The findings indicate that music instruction enhances the same higher brain functions required for mathematics, chess, science, and engineering." (MENC 4). The brain is still developing through schooling. By allowing the students to take some sort of music class, kids will have a superior chance for their brain to develop. Moreover, schools are represented by their students in ways like Grade Point Averages and test scores. Kids who are active in a music program show better SAT scores. "At the same time, a growing body of research indicates that education in the arts provides significant cognitive benefits and bolsters academic achievement, beginning at an early age and continuing through school."(MENC 2). By creating music, by either means of vocal or instrumental, leads to all of the brain to be at work, making it easier for the mind to collect information (O'Donnell 2). If a student is exposed to a music class during the day at school, his/her mind is being in a sense woken up to obtain lessons presented by his/her teacher. Also, music makes the mind do this at a rapid speed. Dr. George Lozanov proves this by his method of teaching. he cut the time it takes to learn a foreign language approximately 1,000 words or phrases into a day based on the idea of putting these words or phrases with baroque music repertoire (O'Donnell 3). While music classes are being taught in class, many kids will like to sit out where they can listen while during their homework. Playing music takes a lot of focus and mental endurance, which a positive in a learning center like a school.

In brief, supplying a music class would be beneficial to all sorts of students. It would prepare the students for independence and set them up with a first-rate self-esteem. Music is key for a person to get in touch with themselves and their feelings. It could open doors for students diagnosed with autism to obtain communication with fellow peers. Music is a great class to get involved with. Physically, and mentally, it is great for one's health. The advantage of music cannot be replaced and needs to stay in schools.