How Music Education Boosts Non-Musical Outcomes
In the family, in the classroom, and among friends and strangers alike, music creates a sense of community. It speaks a universal language, bridging the gaps between nations, classes, and ages; music tells our stories.
For my family, the celebration of World Music Day on June 21 provided an opportunity to gather ’round the table to share our talents and talk about our favorite instruments, songs, and sounds. We gathered all the instruments in our home and created our very own “jam session” in the living room, sitting in a circle taking turns playing and talking together.
As we did so, something worth noting occurred.
Rather than simply enjoying music, as was our intent, a shift in mood seemed to be created. As my daughter drummed away spiritedly, frustration over an irreparably broken toy from earlier in the day seemed to dissipate. She talked about how she felt, voice steady, finishing by reminding herself that “it’s okay, things happen”. Watching her engagement with music boost her coping skills and emotional regulation right before my eyes provided a moment of reflection on just how important a role music can play in our kids’ lives.
As a former educator, I’m no stranger to the ways that music education boosts non-musical outcomes. Not only does studying, playing, and listening to music have a positive impact on mental health and social development, it’s also poised to offer a boost academic outcomes. This includes improved grades in their English, history, science, and math classes, better scores on standardized tests, and a higher IQ when measured through testing.
Over at We The Parents, we put together an infographic that sings the praises of music education. We’ve paired 17 science-backed benefits with the studies that illuminate them; we’re sure eagle-eyed, music-loving dads will find these facts as fascinating as we did, so read on.
Neve Spicer is the co-founder of We The Parents, where you can learn more about the science behind music education.