Music is a unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. It is one of the best tools for child’s development. Scientific research has proven that music education is a powerful tool for attaining children’s full intellectual, social, and creative potential. It speeds the development of speech and reading skills, it trains children to focus their attention for sustained periods, and it helps them gain a sense of empathy for others.
Music education also plays an important role in children’s language development. According to the Children’s Music Workshop, the musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Dr. Kyle Pruett, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a practicing musician, agreed that the development of language over time tends to enhance part of the brain that helps process music. She added that language competence is at the root of social competence and music experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent. Reading and speaking abilities are among the most important skills that we gain through experience, and help us understand our native language and new ones.
Research has also found a causal link between music and spatial intelligence, which means that understanding music can help children visualize various elements that should go together, like they would do when solving a math problem. According to Zabinki, music exposure to music education gives students an advantage in understanding basic mathematical concepts such as ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time.
Music education develops children’s critical skills: their ability to listen, to appreciate a wide variety of music, and to make judgements about musical quality. It also increases self-discipline, creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfillment. Lastly, students and even adults who are engaged in music studies are sharpening their cognitive skills and developing social connections.
Eunice Maratas, www.pattayatoday.net, www.msidallas.com