I came across this information written by Deborah Torres Patel and I found it very interesting reading. I identified with a lot of the points listed below and can see how my education and development was benefitted by learning the piano from the age of 5. Apart from music, my strongest subjects were languages and I found it pretty easy to pick up new languages. I particularly enjoyed Latin because we had to memorise pages and pages of prose and poetry for the exam. Performing music requires that you are confident with your memorising skills and I always enjoy the challenge and also the showy nature of playing difficult pieces from memory in public! Regular musical performances definitely put you at ease in any situation where you have to speak in public and being able to improvise music helps you think on your feet.
1. Music training has been linked to spatial-temporal reasoning skills. (I.e. ability to read a map, put puzzles together, form mental images, transform/visualize things in space that unfold over time, and recognize relationships between objects. These skills are often helpful in science, math, and chess.)
2. Musical symbols, structure, and rhythmic training utilize fractions, ratios, and proportions, which are all important in mathematical study.
3. Increases problem finding/solving, logic and thinking skills like analysis, evaluation and the linkage/organization of ideas
4. Optimizes brain neuron development & circuitry
5. Assists motor development especially coordination of hands, eyes and body
6. Expands multiple intelligences and helps students’ transfer study, cognitive and communication skills from subject to subject in any syllabus
7. Group orchestra or ensemble activities help promote cooperation, social harmony and teach kids discipline while working together toward a common goal.
8. Music augments memory. For example, most people learn their ABC’s by singing them. Repeating a tune in a predictable rhythmic song structure makes memorization easier.
9. Singing is a great way to aid/improve reading ability and instruction. Karaoke is a perfect example. Children may learn a song by ear (auditory) but words on a TV or computer screen provide a simultaneous visual anchor.
10. In vocal music learning rhythm, phrasing, and pitch greatly enhances language, pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary skills. This is especially noticeable when using songs in first and second language study.
11. Improves critical reading and writing
12. Raises test scores, decreases performance anxiety, and teaches kids how to handle/manage stress during standardized exams
13. Helps children channel unexpressed and/or negative emotions in a positive way
14. Boosts creative thinking
15. Reading music and performing memorized pieces help children to think ahead
16. Improvisation helps people to “think on their feet”
17. Solo performance is connected to self-esteem & self-efficacy. (concept of self capacity) Children learn to reach for their very best.
18. When kids prepare and consistently practice for recital or performance, they work to sing/play without errors. They generally apply similar determination and perseverance to many future endeavors academic or otherwise.
19. Improves understanding of homework and enables a higher levels of concentration
20. Children who study music usually have a better attitude, are more motivated and are less intimidated by learning new things