According to a new nationwide survey conducted by the Gallup Organization, more than nine in ten Americans believe music education should be a part of every student’s day. In fact, more than three-quarters of the people questioned feel that states should mandate it.
Recent scientific findings about the broad benefits of music education have had an effect on people’s attitudes. Eighty-one percent of respondents said they feel participating in school music corresponds with better grades and test scores, up sharply from 69 percent in 1997.
Seventy five percent said they believe learning a musical instrument helps students do better in other subjects such as math and science, and 73 percent said they believe teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems.
The 1997 study took place just as the new wave of music research was beginning to build. Since then, scientists in a variety of disciplines have published findings that reinforce the value of music education; not only for its own sake, but as a key to intellectual development, physical wellness, and improved academic grades across the curriculum.
For example, researchers at Michigan State University, led by Dr. Frederick Tims, have found that making music improves the health of the elderly. At a Miami Veterans Administration hospital, Tims also found that group music therapy raised the levels of important neural hormones in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
A study from the University of California at Irvine led by Dr. Gordon Shaw found that elementary school students at the 95th Street School in Los Angeles who took piano lessons boosted their math performance.
In fact, the same researchers who conducted the 95th Street study have also found that the neural firing patterns at the most basic level of brain activity seem to resemble the patterns in music.
If you live in Pleasanton, Dublin, or San Ramon
A good way to start or continue your music education is with in-home private lessons, where I go to the comfort of your home and design a customized program that aligns with each student’s learning process and expectations. Don’t delay this decision. Click here to get more information.