PLANT, Inc. Blog
Encouraging Parent Led Education
By Mary Beach
If your parents forced you to practice your scales saying it would build “character”, they were onto something. One of the largest scientific studies into music’s effect on the brain at the University of Vermont College of Medicine found something remarkable: Musical training doesn’t just affect your musical ability ---- it provides tremendous benefits to
children’s emotional and behavioral maturation.
The study found that even those who never made it past nursery rhyme songs and do-re-mi’s likely received some major developmental benefits just from playing. The study provides even more evidence as to why providing children with high-quality music education may be one of the most effective ways to ensure their success in life. They found that that a child trained on an instrument accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.
The study found increased thickness in parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning, which includes working memory, attentional control and organizational skills. It has even been shown that children who receive musical training in school also tend to be more civically active and maintain a higher grade-point average than children who don’t. In short, music actually helped kids become more well-rounded.
Unfortunately, in the current American education system, three-quarters of high school students rarely or never received extracurricular lessons in music or the arts. School systems that don’t dedicate adequate time and resources to musical training are robbing the kids of so much. Prior research proves that learning music can help children develop spatiotemporal faculties, which then aid their ability to solve complex math, improve their reading comprehension and verbal abilities.
One thing is clear: Learning music is one of the best things a person can do. Who knows — Running scales may have changed your life. And it could change the lives of future generations, too!
Mary Beach has been teaching piano for over 40 years. She has had the privilege of teaching many wonderful students from the ages of 5 to 75. She seeks to nurture in the the student a genuine love of music and help the student develop the skills & knowledge to enjoy it the rest of their lives, whether they decide to study another instrument, sing in choir or simply have a better appreciation for the music of the theater or concert hall.
PLANT, Inc. Blog is written by local parent educators and supporters of parent led education.