Music is a powerful learning tool for growing minds. In early childhood, music is used to mark the importance of new tasks such as cleaning up, establishing routines, or to engage with others. Continued research on the subject has shown that music has an even stronger impact than previously understood. Music education actively molds the brain’s synapses, engaging children in multiple ways across disciplines and subjects.
A recent article by Elaine Winter of Scholastic Magazine synthesizes some of these findings. We thought this article was so great we just had to summarize and share.
“A preschooler’s ability to organize new thoughts, ideas, and information is referred to as executive functioning. We spot it in children with a clear sense of purpose…their thinking is flexible; if one idea doesn’t work, an alternate is right behind it”. Executive functioning is a stronger prediction of academic success than even IQ, and music education is shown to improve executive functioning in young children. The ability to organize one’s thoughts with clarity and flexibility it not only an important school skill, but a life skill.
Literacy and Language Processing
“Musical training improves the way children’s brains process the spoken word. This improved auditory processing becomes an asset to children learning to read, and is especially helpful to children with dyslexia and other reading challenges because it helps them to hear the words as they decode.” Literacy is the fundamental building block of education, and absolutely critical for kids.
“Children who sing or play an instrument are consistently organizing, adjusting, and sequencing new material before committing it to memory.” Blake Madden, the author of Why Music Education Actually Matters, says “young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to children who do not receive musical training.” A strong memory helps kids across all subject matters, including math, history, and science.
Dr. Julene J. Johnson, professor at the University of California, San Francisco believes that “when they move and sing, children feel good about themselves.” Singing together also helps strengthen children’s sense of community, which contributes positively to their overall, sense of well-being.
These outcomes listed here are only some of the reasons why music education is critically important for kids. When you contribute to a child’s music education, you’re giving them much more than just music- you are strengthening their lifelong learning abilities for years to come.