Article about the Benefits of Music by Kelly Vanden Bos

Published: Oct 20, 2015  |   Category: Uncategorized

There are so many benefits of studying music and I have been reading a lot about that subject lately.   My student, Kelly Vanden Bos shared a paper she wrote on that very topic, and she graciously agreed to let me share it on my blog.  Here it is - enjoy!
Playing A Musical Instrument Helps Students in Countless Ways
by Kelly Vanden Bos
Playing a musical instrument has many effects on a student and their brains.  Studies show that kids who play musical instruments tend to do better in school.  Because of this, every student should play a musical instrument.  Playing a musical instrument increases a students math abilities, it teaches students perseverance and patience, and it also improves their memory. 

Music and math are connected in many ways.  Because of this, playing a musical instrument teaches students many math skills.  Music includes much counting.  It includes the counting of rhythm and notes.  Music also includes fractions.  On the first line is  the time signature.  This is written as a fraction, and musicians must understand this is order to play the piece of music correctly.  Music includes many patterns.  Students learn to recognize patterns in order to play a piece of music.  After being able to simply recognize musical patterns, they are able to recognize math patterns better.  In music kids will have to divide items.  These could be just about anything in the song.  Learning how to divide in music helps the student with dividing numbers in math.  It has been shown in studies that kids who play a musical instrument score higher in math.  Music helps a child greatly with math. This is one reason why students should play a musical instrument.

Learning a musical instrument also has more benefits. Playing a musical instrument teaches a student perseverance and patience.  Musicians and students will never play a piece of music perfectly the first time.  They practice on a regular basis, normally every day.  They work out imperfections in the piece and fix errors they have made.  They continue for much time to perfect the piece of music until they can play it without any errors.  Doing this takes time and effort which results in teaching kids how to persevere and be patient.  Kids also may have to learn the skill of paying in a group with others.  When playing a solo instrument, such as the piano, kids may not do this as much, but that never means they will not have to do it.  When playing with others they must be patient and persevere.  Perseverance and patience are important life skills that are taught and enriched while playing a musical instrument.

Another reason students should play a musical instrument is because it improves memory.  When learning a musical instrument, it makes a students memory more active which causes it to grow.  It makes kids use both sides of their brain which is shown to improve memory in students.  It is also very good for students to learn a musical instrument at their young age because their brain is still growing.  Research has shown that when a student plays a musical instrument their brain is affected by it.  Learning a musical instrument is able to affect the brain enough that it changes its ability to remember information.  A student needs to be able to remember information for school.  Playing a musical instrument will affect their brain which will improve their memory.

Students and parents may say that they can not afford an instrument, or the student does not have enough time to practice.  An easy solution to not being able to afford an instrument is trying to borrow one.  Search around and try to find a friend, family member, or another person that your student could borrow an instrument from.  Another solution is to rent a used instrument.  Renting an instrument is much cheaper than buying an instrument.  Students may say they do not have enough time to practice with other activities such as clubs, sports, and homework.  They do not need to practice that much every day.  Every bit of practicing makes a difference.  If a student uses their time well they should be able to fit in at least ten minutes every day.  Also it is shown in studies that kids in America spend seven and a half hours a day on electronic devices.  Kids could use part of this time in order to practice their instrument.  Because playing an instrument has many advantages and  positive effects, every student should play one.


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