The Impact of Music
The act of participating in music has almost completely dissolved. Although some people listen to music while sitting behind the steering wheel of their vehicle, they are hardly interacting with music as it was originally intended. Martin Luther wrote some of the first Protestant hymn books so congregations would not simply plop into a pew and listen to monks sing ancient spiritual chants. He felt that the individual would have a deeper experience, physically and spiritually, if they participated in the singing themselves.
Although this belief was viewed as sacrilegious during that time, t is a practice that almost every modern American church currently follows. Outside of a church however, many Americans have strayed away from this “interactive” musical experience. Although many Americans participated in a chorus or band while in school, the majority of society has slowly become removed from these musical participation groups as they exit school and grow older. As we grow older and music is no longer a part of an everyday class, it is often only accessible by taking specific lessons at specific times with a specialist.We do not want to give our children the impression that only a ewe can participate in music (Jones, 44). Before the invention of the telephone, many families would gather together and create music as their main form of entertainment. Grandparents can tell stories of the entire family gathering around to listen to each other practice the piano or to listen to large groups singing songs together at parties.
Although our society has changed how it values music, it is certainly worth evaluating the role music should play in the raising of children and the benefits it has when used in an educational setting.Music used to be a main focus of families and schools, and it would e ignorant to change such a trend that had such a positive effect. The “Mozart effect,” according to Roberta Horseshoes in her article titled Debating the Mozart Theory, is “the theory that classical music makes the brain work better (1 Neuroscience continue to search for reasons why the mental and physical components required for the arts are so fundamental to brain function (Souse, 1). It is only logical that the earlier we implement the ideas of music and art into children, the more developed they will become.Warren Puffer Jones, in his article Music, The Brain, and Education, put it this way: Just as a child can become bilingual, children can become fluent in many styles of music if they hear enough different styles early on (4). ” The physiological growth of the early years of the brain is much stronger, so “artsy’ activities that children naturally do such as singing, drawing, and dancing have a more dramatic effect on the child’s brain development than in an adult’s brain. These activities engage all the senses and wire the brain for successful learning (Souse, 2).
When children start school, these activities need to continue so as to continue the development their brain is undergoing. As children partake in such activities, the brain areas are developed. Souse also stated that, “The arts are not just expressive and affective, they are deeply cognitive (2). ” However, we cannot simply play music to children without wanting to see the results. A very clear display of this enhanced brain development can be seen with piano lessons. The link between piano lessons and spatial-temporal skills has been researched for years.Frances Attaches, of the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, showed that “preschoolers who were given piano lessons once a week scored 34 recent higher on tests designed to measure such skills than classmates who received no music lessons (Barack, 1).
Souse, in his research, found similar results when studying low socioeconomic students in California who took music lessons from eighth grade through twelfth grade. These students’ test scores more than doubled in mathematics, while their history and geography scores increased by forty percent (Souse, 5).The statistical link between music trainings and its effects on students’ performance should be mirrored in our education system. Why could it be that piano lessons have such a positive effect on other academic areas? Elementary music teacher Alison Marker Garner wrote the article Music For the Very Young to describe her unique teaching method known as the “Suzuki Method. ” Her process of teaching her classroom involves the students participating in different activities where the child “listens, repeats, and memorizes motions and sounds based on his or her surroundings (1). This method reflects how we as humans at a young age learn new activities. The example she used was a baby girl who hears her mother speak and attempts to imitate the sounds she hears (Marker, 2).
Students relate quickly to this process when learning their musical instruments and carry this principle into their other classrooms. It can be rather simple for teachers to use the “Suzuki Method” within their classrooms. Teachers can use small inserts of singing within their different lessons to help students to learn different styles and concepts.A man in his thirties might still be able to list all fifty American states because of the catchy jingle his teacher taught him when he was young. When breaking out in song, teachers should not worry about the quality of his or her voice, but rather realize and monster that music is available to everyone (Jones, 45). Along with young age development of the brain, music within the education process of our high school students also has been shown to advance students academically. Although most students Stop playing a musical instrument when they reach high school, the memory benefits of musical training were long lasting.
Students who dropped out of the music training groups, tested a year later, found to retain the verbal memory advantage they had gained earlier (Souse, 4). ” Scenically. Com found the same to be true, “Music is positively associated with academic achievement, especially during the high school years (Souse, 4). ” At an age where focus and direction become increasingly important, music can be a tool to help better prepare teenagers for their next stage in life. Perhaps our society should become a stronger advocate of the different arts programs. Music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory (Music moves Brain to Pay Attention, Anonymous). ” Students are not the only ones who can benefit from music.
A program at a Bloomington, Indiana urging home called “Sundering” uses a combination of music and babies to stimulate seniors (Swishes, 2). The idea is for local parents to bring their toddlers into the nursing home to sing, dance and engage in different activities with the residents.Some of the benefits to the seniors who participate are as follows: memory stimulation, increased physical activity, social connection, improved mood and improved health (Swishes, 3-4). The idea that music could not only improve the lifestyles of the elderly but also stimulate their brain could drastically change the way many senior-living moms design their activities. “With so much work to do, making music is one of the best workouts a brain can get (Puffer, 42). ” One can clearly see the powerful affects music can have on every age.Why is it then that music programs continue to be cut due to budget limitations? As our government further deepens the debt deficit for the country, education systems are forced to reevaluate where they spend their money.
A school district in Tallahassee, Florida is faced with theses issues year after year. Discouraged at the thought of their children losing elective options, seventeen parents ended together to address the concerns with the budget. The district is facing a six percent cut on top of the four percent cut they already endured the prior year (Bushes, 1).Though high schools seem to receive positive feedback and high financial support in programs such as band, choir and dance, elementary schools tend to not receive the same financial support. “When school budgets get tight, elementary-level art and music programs are among the first to be reduced or eliminated (Souse, 1). ” New studies are emerging everyday on the positive effects that music has on children; this loud help to factually promote why elementary schools should keep their arts programs. If musses beauty and mystery fail to impress cost-conscious school boards, the thinking goes, then proving Its ancillary benefits might save music programs from the budgetary’ ax (Horseshoes, 1).
” “Music is shown to be beneficial to students in four major categories: success in society, success in school, success in developing intelligence and success in life (Petrels, 1). ” Why is it then that music is always the first to go? Petrels makes the very clear statement that music programs are always hit the ardent; therefore we must “promote, explain and act to get music to all our students. Different programs and social promotions on social networking sites such as Backbone have helped to raise awareness for this cause. The Power Chord Academy, The National Association for Music Education, Project Zero and Music Intelligence Neural Development are just a few specific programs that strive to expose every individual to the benefits of music. If music is “a window to a higher brain function (Barack, 1),” then this society’s focus should consist of exposing children to music at a very young age.The exposure should not stop at grade-school level, but should continue for each individual on some level that suits their talents and abilities up through their elderly age (Barack, 1). Even lower sociological families can afford to sing around the house with their children.
Families who find practical ways to challenge each other creatively will enjoy a personal experience and will benefit developmentally as well. It is clear that there are many ways one can interact with music personally and socially. Musical exposure not only increases brain development, but also correlates with higher grades and deter social interactions with students.