Music and society are intertwined so much so that every known culture in the world has music. The influence of music on society is clearly visible in modern history. Evidence of music in prehistoric times exists in the excavation of flutes made out of bones.
Thomas Jefferson, the third President of US, second vice president of the US, and prime author of the Declaration of Independence used music to focus and create the most important document for the country. Whenever he had difficulty in putting words on paper, he would play his violin, which helped him to find the perfect wordings to put down for the Declaration of Independence.
Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the smartest men who have ever walked the face of the earth. As a young boy, he performed poorly in school; his schoolteachers informed his parents to take him out of school claiming that investing time and energy in his education would be a waste of time.
His mother refused to take the school’s word for her son’s brilliance and bought him a violin. He spent hours at this new instrument and become a maestro of sorts. Einstein himself has quoted that the reason for his smartness is his violin. G.J. Withrow, a friend of Einstein, said that improvising on the violin helped Einstein solve several problems.
Mozart Effect – An Early Proof
The contribution to brain development in children provided by sound is unarguable. Doctors encourage parents to talk to their children a couple of months into their pregnancy, as they are believed to stimulate brain activity. Children below the age of three show increase in brain development when they listen to the mesmerizing music created by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This phenomenon famously referred to, as the Mozart effect is proof that music plays an important role in improving intelligent and emotional quotient of people.
From Toddlers to Preschoolers
In the year 1996, a study was conducted in the school of 21stcentury based at Yale University that analyzed first graders who participated in music lessons and those from the same class who did not. This study revealed a dramatic improvement in reading and math proficiency of students who took music lessons in comparison to the other study group. Since then there has been over thirteen hundred school of 21stcentury that took care of preschool child development through music lessons.
Sports are fun, but so is music!
Research on sports conducted in a national educational longitudinal study of 1988 established that participants of sports showed an overall improvement in academics and social life. This lead to encouragement of sports in schools but other arts like drama and vocals were not giving priority.
The data created by the national educational longitudinal study of 1988 was used in 2002 and linked to students who took part in extracurricular activities outside of sports and the results were similar. The positive outcome given by students who participated in sports was replicated by students who showed interest in music-related activities.
Syllabus, Region, and Instruments are no Barriers for Development
A hundred and forty-four students were assigned to music lessons (keyboard lessons or voice lessons) and to control groups (drama lessons and no classes) in 2004 as part of an experiment to determine the truth behind the notion of improving smartness through music education.
A common IQ test was then given to these students and its results, when analyzed, showed that those students who took voice lessons or keyboard lessons exhibited better performance than those who took drama lessons or no lessons. However, children in the drama group exhibited substantial improvement in adaptive social behavior, which was not present in the music groups.
A similar study was repeated in 2007 that took students who participated in high-quality school music programs as subjects. Schools were chosen without regard to socioeconomic discrimination and the music lessons picked were contradictory to lessons in other schools that were chosen. Such a selection helped to determine that the type of music lesson or type of syllabus followed is not a criterion for improved academic performance. Elementary, middle school, and high school students were all analyzed on this basis and the results supported the hypothesis of a link between IQ improvement and music education.
Standardized Tests are Solid Evidence
The standardized SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) given to gain admission into prestigious colleges also backed music education by collecting data from exam givers in 2012 and creating an analysis table. The table demonstrated a thick relationship between students who participated in arts-related experiences and high academic performance in terms of grade point averages. Music students scored an average of nearly thirty-one points above average in reading, twenty-three points above average in math, and thirty-one points above average in writing.
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Pearl Cohn receiving $5,500 GRAMMY award for outstanding commitment to music education despite economic challenges. pic.twitter.com/XuNMYgYeMX
— NewsChannel 5 (@NC5) April 13, 2016
— CNN (@CNN) April 14, 2016
Musical Training Can Accelerate Brain Development And Help With Literacy Skills
The notion that musical training can have positive effects on cognitive functions other than music has long been a source of interest. Research first emerged at the beginning of the 20th century. Standardised assessments of IQ and musical ability suggested the two were correlated – and it was thought that participation in musical training could improve IQ.
Recently, research has shifted focus from effects on musical training on global intelligence and instead focuses on benefits to specific skills and tasks in individuals. Via IFL Science
Scientific Study Shows a Link Between Musical Training and Successful Children
Professor Harold Hill from The Music Man may have been onto something with his “Think System” after all! A new study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine shows a scientific link between playing an instrument and brain development.
Researchers studied the brain development of 232 children between the ages of 6 to 18, who played a musical instrument. “What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument,” said James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, “it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.” Via Mormon Tabernacle
Music and Training in Sync
There is no denying the vital role music plays to improve performance
Music runs through our soul. Isn’t it that when we hear music playing, we subconsciously stomp our feet, sway our hips, tap our fingers, and bob our heads to the beat? That there are moments, upon hearing a touching lyric accompanied by a moving melody, when we feel inspired to rally for world peace? These shouldn’t be a surprise as music is associated not only with sound, but with movement and emotions as well. We not only listen to music, but dance to it. We are hard wired to move when we hear a music playing. Via HIP Multisport