Why Music Education Matters

“I believe arts education in music, theater, dance, and the visual arts is one of the most creative ways we have to find the gold that is buried just beneath the surface. They (children) have an enthusiasm for life, a spark of creativity, and vivid imaginations that need training—training that prepares them to become confident young men and women.”Richard W. Riley, Former US Secretary of Education

Below, is some research to back up our belief of why music education should be available for African children to experience. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no music being taught in the underprivileged schools and communities of Africa. We believe, with The National Association for Music Education, that providing music education for children will improve their success in:

* Society
* School and Learning
* Developing Intelligence
* Personal Life

-This video was made by The Children’s Workshop to advocate for music education.

Music lessons help students more than computer training. Research shows piano students are better equipped to comprehend math and science concepts. Preschoolers were divided into three groups: One group received private piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received private computer lessons. The third group received no training. Those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34% higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others—even those who received computer training. “Spatial-temporal” is a concept that has long been considered a major obstacle in the teaching of elementary math and science.

-Neurological Research, February 28, 1997.

Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation.

-Source: “The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children,” University of Central Florida, Debby Mitchell

Teacher expertise in music is a critical factor in student learning. Research indicates that teachers of all subjects — including music — who are more experienced and educated are more effective in the classroom. Consequently, students learn more from them.

-Source: Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why Money Matters, by Ronald Ferguson, 1991

The world’s top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, the Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States’ focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology.

-Source: 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test

For more info on music education research, please visit these recommended websites:
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