Why is Music Education Important?
In school districts and communities nationwide, music programs are being diminished or eliminated altogether. While many people understand and respect the importance of maintaining music education in today’s school, there are thousands of others who don’t understand why music is necessary.
American educational culture places a lot of value on measuring and quantifying academic achievement. It has been proven countless times that students who study music have higher test scores, graduation rates, and college acceptance rates. These outcomes are important, but we believe music does even more for students.
Music education shapes the way students view themselves and the world around them and allows for deep engagement with learning. Music education nurtures assets and skills that are essential to a 21st-century education. Music brings balance back to the school curriculum and puts the focus back on the whole student—not just their test score.
Broader Minded is an advocacy platform developed by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) to help articulate and stress the importance of music education for every students.
A multitude of research has been done to link quicker brain development and higher academic achievemtn with music education. With the launch of the Broader MInded campaign, NAfME has now collected data about the effect of music education on students' personal lives, motivation, and future successes. The purpose of this campaign is the highlight the unique intrinsic benefits of music education.
Music education is an invaluable part of a child's development. Please join us in becoming advocates for music education by sharing the message of Broader Minded with friends, colleagues, school administrators, local media, legislators, and our community.
A Complete Argument for Music Education
Schools that have higher levels of student participation in the fine arts receive higher academic ratings and have lower drop out rates. (Texas Music Educators Association, 2007)
Assiduous instrument training from an early age can help the brain to process sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to tensor calculus. (”Hearing the music, Honing the mind” Scientific American, 303, 2010)
Early Music instruction is linked to significant improvements in students’ spacial reasoning abilities. (Journal of Aesthetic Education, 34, 2000)
Researchers have found a correlation between three or more years of instrumental music training and enhanced auditory discrimination, fine motor skills, vocabulary, and nonverbal reasoning. (Forgeard, Winner, Norton, & Schlaug, Plos One, 2008)
High school music students have been shown to hold higher grade point averages (GPA) than non-musicians in the same school. (National Educational Longitudinal study)
On the 2012 SAT, students who participated in music scored an average of 31 points above average in reading, 23 points above average in math, and 31 points above average in writing. (College Board)
Schools that have music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than those without music programs; 90.2% compared to 72.9%. Additionally, schools with music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than those without music programs; 93.3% compared to 84.9%. (Harris Interactive Inc., 2006)
Music majors are the most likely group of college graduates to be admitted to medical school. (Lewis Thomas, Case for Music in the Schools).
Learning in the arts nurtures motivation, active engagement, disciplined and sustained attention, persistence and risk taking. (Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development, 2002)
Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances: alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs. (Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 1998).
Music students have the unique opportunity to receive immediate feedback, reflect on their progress, make needed adjustments, and improve based on their own observations of their performance. (NAfME, 2014).
A two-year Swiss study involving 1,200 children in 50 different schools showed that students involved in a music program showed an improved social climate, showed more enjoyment in school, and had a lower level of stress than non-music students. (Weber, Spychiger, and Patry, 1993).
Music students get the chance to develop a greater emotional awareness through music, particularly during collaboration (NAfME, 2014).
Music students develop a tolerance for process. They refine their thinking as part of the creative process; they gain the ability to re-evaluate goals and adjust approaches to an objective. (NAfME, 2014)