We all know that music education has a lot of pros and some cons, but why do people have to focus more on the cons rather than the pros? I’m not sure if I’m the only one thinking this but it clearly doesn’t make sense. The benefits of music education far out weighs the number of cons!
I have heard, and read, only one con that music education brings. It’s “Music education takes time away from students core classes and negatively affects their learning.” I very much disagree with this over used statement. If someone can provide evidence that supports this, then I will gladly tip my hat to them but I have found no such evidence. On the contrary, I have found statistics that prove that music education has positive effects on students and makes them more academically and emotionally stable, intelligent, and even healthier than students who don’t participate in such music education.
According to Gregory Blankenbehler, a music educator with over 25 years of experience performing and teaching music from PitchPerfectPublishing.org, he says that on average, students with music education have had 27% higher math scores, 57 points higher on SAT’s and 46% higher IQ scores.(Blankenbehler, 2010) That’s a great reason to use some class time for music education. He also says that students with music education experience the lowest rate of gang activity and substance abuse. And the list goes on! Music participants receive more academic awards for grades over B’s, 73% of teens who play an instrument are less likely to have discipline problems, students who are rhythmically skilled also tend to better plan, sequence, and coordinate actions in their daily lives, and music educated students show less test anxiety and performance anxiety than other students.
Another benefit I would like to point out is that music education not only helps young and older students but adults and elderly people as well. According to Pitch Perfect Publishing, it has been tested and proven that music education lessens depression, loneliness, stroke, pain, migraines, and stress. It also helps Alzheimer's patients lessen agitation, increase focus and concentration, enhance ability to respond verbally and behaviorally, and have better social interactions.
I know some of you are saying to yourselves that we have to cut music education because we can’t cut anymore teacher’s salaries, we can’t cut anymore faculty positions, and we need more funding for core classes. I’m saying that music education should become a core class. With all of the benefits I have listed above, it does not make sense to cut music education.
During an average music class, students are learning history, math, and reading. Music education incorporates history because somehow, music has been changed throughout the years by someone or something. Mozart is a great example. He was called the world’s best musician. He came up with new tones, playing styles, and rhythms that have changed the way music is played and written forever. Math is a huge part of music. You need a way to count rhythms and measures. Reading is also an important part. There needs to be some way of reading notes, so why not use letters. Almost all of the core classes are incorporated in music education, another reason to not cut it!
To wrap this up, I would like to ask you a question. What do Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Steven Halking have in common? They were all musicians! Coincidence? Certainly not.
Blankenbehler, G.B. (2010). The importance of music education in public schools. Pitch Perfect Publishing, Retrieved from http://pitchperfectmusic.org/articles/importance-music-education-public-schools/
Blankenbehler, G.B. (2010). Studies showing the benefits of music education. Pitch Perfect Publishing, Retrieved from http://pitchperfectmusic.org/articles/studies-showing-benefits-music-education/