5 Benefits of Studying Music

Music is usually an optional subject in school and is generally considered to be not as important as other core subjects. However, music has proven beneficial for children, when they are at a young age and when they get older. Everyone loves music and enjoys listening to music every day. Music offers various benefits, and here are the five most outstanding benefits of studying music in high school.
5 benefits of studying music
1. Language development

Another requirement for education in high school is studying a foreign language. According to the Children’s Music Workshop, studying music has a tremendous impact on language development, since music and language processing belong to both the left side of the brain. “Recent studies have indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.”  

This claim can be proven by the rising popularity of Korean-pop groups in America. Many teenagers spend hours on different music streaming platforms hit replay their favorite artists’ songs and look up translations to the song. Their love of K-Pop groups got them started learning several common Korean vocabulary words, leading to them becoming interested in learning Korean.

2. Improved Test Scores

Besides language development, another study published by Mr. Johnson, a professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, stated 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, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts.” 

By studying music, students will develop a cognitive strength in verbal recall proficiency, and overall develop a stronger memory sense. Remember the song that has been stuck in your head for days? This benefit is extremely helpful for students who are studying for standardized tests such as the SAT, because the reading section requires students to memorize and define complicated words, when choosing the right answers to the multiple-choice questions.  

3. Focusing ability

According to the New England Board of Higher Education, mastering a musical instrument enhances dexterity and hand-eye coordination. A Stanford study shows that “music moves [the] brain to pay attention.” Researchers utilized musical compositions from the 1800s in their study and found that “music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory” (Baker). They believe that music choice was influential in brain processing, revealing, “The goal of the study was to look at how the brain sorts out events, but the research also revealed that musical techniques used by composers 200 years ago help the brain to organize incoming information” (Baker). 

Taking piano for example, when playing a musical piece on a piano, a musician is required to play the correct notes using the right and left hands simultaneously, while controlling three pedals with their feet to change the tone and duration. In the meantime, the musician has to read the sheet music and follow the conductor’s instructions. Pianists and other musicians in the orchestra or group have to work together to create a cohesive, technically correct performance that harmonizes. Therefore, learning a musical instrument such as piano will teach children and students about multitasking, hand-eye coordination, and furthermore, teamwork. To learn more about the fMRI of the brain during the musical transition, please refer to this video

4. Being disciplined and patient

In the book “Outliers: The Story of Success,” Gladwell repeatedly mentioned his 10,000-Hour rule. This rule refers to the key to achieving true expertise in any skill as simply a matter of practicing, in the correct way, for at least 10,000 hours. 

Every instrument has a steep learning curve, and it takes 10,000 hours for children to study music and finally master it. It’s like when you were born, you have to learn how to walk before you can run. Before you can make a sound on a violin, you must first learn how to hold the bow, and where to place your fingers. Patience is required for learners, because they have to persevere through hours, months, and sometimes years of practice before they reach specific goals, such as performing with a band or memorizing a solo piece. Music education is the test of patience for people who don’t give up. 

5. Relieve stress

Psychology researchers have released a study that highlights this outstanding benefit of studying music. “Music listening impacted the psychobiological stress system. Listening to music before a standardized stressor predominantly affected the autonomic nervous system, and to a lesser degree the endocrine and psychological stress response.”  

Music in stress-relieving has been researched throughout the years. According to a 2013 Cochrane review of 26 studies involving more than 2,000 people, music reliably reduces anxiousness among people preparing to undergo surgical operations. The field of music therapy has exploded in recent decades, and trained music therapists are now helping people manage different psychological conditions.  

Studying music with faster beats help you concentrate better and feel a rush of adrenaline. A slower tempo helps you feel relieved and stress-free. While studying music, you will bring yourself into an isolated world where you and your music will be of the utmost importance. You will be able to get your mind off things and release your frustrations.  

So, why not pick up a new musical instrument and learn how to play it? For students interested in learning about musical techniques, theory, and how to write their own music, we just launched a course in introduction to Music Theory and Composition. Details are below:  

Introduction to Music Theory and Composition

Description:Introduction to Music Theory and Composition introduces the students to standard Western music notation, major and minor key harmony, melody writing, music composition, and music analysis. Students will compose music for short videos, analyze compositions, and hone their theory skills through written exercises and quizzes.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 2 hours per class 

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