The Value of Music EducationEducational research demonstrates the positive effect of music curriculum in developing academic achievement skills. In order to bring about statewide use of music in the general curriculum, legislators and other school policy makers must also be convinced of its value.
Studies in Educational Research
Teachers know that children learn concepts more easily when music is part of the curriculum. Evidence of this ranges from the first grade teacher who wrote 65 songs to teach her pilgrims unit, to the PhD University professor who insists the reason his third grade class learned the multiplication facts so quickly and thoroughly all those years ago was because the teacher’s instruction was to the tune of children’s songs. In between are all the music teachers who have observed many of their instrumental class students move out of remedial classes in elementary grades into upper level academic classes in the middle school as they completed several years of instrumental music classes.
Arts Education and Academic Achievement
Arts education leads to cognition and basic skills development. (Medeja, 1978) Cemeral, Inc., an education research firm, issued a report in 1980 on 67 specific studies in California which showed that student achievement in reading, writing and math improved when the arts were included in curriculum. (Milley, 1984)
In an arts enrich instruction, music accompaniment to reading a foreign language produces accelerated learning and increased retention. (Ostrander & Schroder, 1979)
Arts education increases interest in academic learning. 90% of the graduates of New York City’s School of Performing Arts, Division of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts go on to college. (Kaufman, 1976)
Learning to play a musical instrument helps students to develop faster physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Dr. Frank R . Wilson, assistant clinical professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. (Mueller, 1984)High school music students have been show to hold higher grade point averages (GPA) than non–musicians in the same school. At Mission Viejo High School in 1981-82, music students averaged 3.57 GPA, non-music students averaged 2.91. Further, 16% of the music
“Music, dance and the visual arts transcend language to express the continuum of human experience in sound, motion and image. Together with theater, these artistic forms have been the vehicles for some of our most profound statements of cultural values.”
- Bill Honig -
Last Chance for our Children