10 Ways Music Could Help Any Child

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In the 1950′s, research on the Mozart Effect became popular. The theory postulated that listening to the compositions of Mozart improved children’s intellectual performance and IQ. While these claims have never been proven, it is a fact that music does help children in many ways. Here are ten of the reasons why an appreciation for music or musical training can help all children.

  1. Playing an Instrument Improves Academic Performance – Researchers have found that children with musical training have higher spatial-temporal IQ scores, enhanced abstract reasoning skills and read an average of two years ahead of their reading age.
  2. Listening to Music Can Boost Concentration – While it was never proven that listening to Mozart improves your IQ, research has indicated that listening to classical music does improve focus and concentration, which can help during homework and study time.
  3. Musical Training Improves Memory – Studies on the effects of musical training in children also showed an increase in the memory abilities of these students when compared to their non-musical peers.
  4. Playing in the School Band Improves Social Skills – While even the most gregarious child can benefit from the social atmosphere in an ensemble, wallflowers can also reap these benefits. Learning to play music together also teaches teamwork and problem-solving skills, in addition to providing a built-in peer set of children with similar interests.
  5. Music Lessons Provide a Sense of Accomplishment – The feeling of accomplishment is important for the development of healthy self-esteem. Learning to play an instrument has been proven to provide this sense of accomplishment, especially if the child becomes proficient in it.
  6. Benefits for Special Needs Children – Setting lessons to familiar tunes can help children with learning disabilities or special needs to retain information, while rhythmic movements can improve mobility.
  7. Improved Dexterity and Hand-Eye Coordination – Playing musical instruments improves hand-eye coordination and dexterity dramatically, regardless of the chosen instrument. Developing fine motor skills can provide an edge in many professions later in life.
  8. Playing An Instrument Requires Patience – Most children struggle to be patient; our instant-gratification world doesn’t help. Learning to play an instrument, however, can’t be rushed. In order to develop the skills necessary to play well, a child must patiently learn the basics first.
  9. Kids Who Play Music Are More Likely To Graduate – Teenagers with a background in music are dramatically less likely to drop out of high school, or to skip classes. This could be due to the social aspects of playing as a group, and also could be due to increased interest in school activities.
  10. Teens With a Musical Background Have Higher SAT Scores – A 1999 study indicated that students with a background in musical performance or music appreciation showed higher SAT scores across the board; verbal scores were an average of 53 points higher than those with no musical background, and 42 points higher on math portions.

The benefits of a musical background extend from early childhood well into the young adult years, improving many intellectual and emotional skills that can prove valuable throughout a child’s lifetime.  Results of studies conducted around the world all indicate that an appreciation for music or training could greatly aid in many essential areas. There are many prestigious institutions currently conducting even more in-depth research into this phenomenon.

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