It comes as no surprise that music education is one of the many items on the chopping block for budget cuts within public education. Many believe that music is not as important as the core academic subjects of English, science, math, and history. When it comes to tightening the purse strings, state budgets look at how they can trim corners. Sadly, the arts—like music education—is one of the subjects that is not deemed “vital.” However, research shows there are countless benefits for continuing to have music in all classrooms. Curious about why this subject should get just as much support as a core subject? Read on for five benefits about why music should not be cut from school budgets, and instead highlighted as an equally important subject.
Benefit #1: Participants will cultivate higher test scores. Studies have shown that students who participate in the arts, specifically those who engage in a high-quality music education program, perform better on tests as compared to students who are not involved in the arts. A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that “students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs.” This statement alone should absolutely sway decision-makers to be more open-minded when it comes to the importance of why music is a valuable subject.
Benefit #2: Students’ social and emotional skills are enhanced and developed. Considering that most public education institutions employ some type of “Social and Emotional Learning” lesson within each day’s schedule, the fact that music education can help promote this type of learning is crucial. Music education requires teamwork and collaboration with each other. Students develop listening skills while learning how to play instruments together. Teamwork and collaboration are needed to complete simple musical tasks like rhythmic and melodic notation. This said, participants learn to value the opinions and ideas of others and how to efficiently combine those thoughts to complete the task at hand. Music also helps become an emotional outlet for students, allowing them to express their feelings in a new way.
Benefit #3: Music education helps students relieve stress. Many adults find music to be extremely beneficial for relieving stress. It is proven that listening to a favorite song or artist can quickly lift one’s spirits. This same notion can go for creating music. Learning how to play an instrument or write a song can allow students to involve themselves in something that will fulfill them and calm them.
Benefit #4: Music education can benefit those with special needs. Music can have a powerful impact on children with disabilities. It can help them find a new method to communicate and almost work as another language for some to open up to their peers. In fact, many schools are implementing music therapy through after-school programs to benefit students with disabilities.
Benefit #5: A stronger work ethic is enabled through attending music classes. Music education can help all students learn from an early age that determination plus hard work can help you succeed. Attending music classes can also help students realize that continual practice is required to become good at an instrument. Students learn that to improve their musical skills, they will need hours of study and practice. Through all of this, students gain a greater concept of work ethic and learn these life skills, which will positively impact a student when entering the workforce and countless other ways in their lifetimes.