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Music education proved to make smarter students

Posted: October 12, 2010 4:37 p.m.
Updated: October 15, 2010 5:00 a.m.

For years, parents have posed the question, “Does music really make my child smarter?” The answer is yes! There have been countless studies conducted to solidify this argument. Music influences humans in ways that are instant and long lasting. Music can not only increase your IQ, but also has an influence on memory and the way people learn.

Music gives students a unique combination of the body and the mind. The method used to study music can be applied to studying in other classes; they will find it easier to understand instruction. Added benefits of music education include increasing a child’s creativity and helping him or her learn to cooperate with other students. When students play or sing together in a group, such as band or chorus, social interaction skills increase.

Playing music is not the only way to increase “brain power.” One simple way many students improve test scores is by listening to certain types of music like Mozart’s Sonata for Two Piano’s in D Minor before taking a test. This type of music releases neurons in the brain which helps the body to relax. The University of California at Irvine conducted an experiment with 36 students. The success of Mozart’s sonatas can be seen by the outcome from an IQ test performed on the three groups of college students. The first group listened to a sonata before taking the test, the second group listened to a relaxation tape before their test and the third group did not listen to anything before the test. The first group had the highest score with an average of 119. The second group ended up with an average of 111, and the third group had the lowest score with an average of 110.

Another study was done by Long Island University on the effects of music education. The results were  that children exposed to a multi-year program of music instruction (such as band  or chorus) involving training in increasingly complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills display superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.

The College Entrance Examination Board found that on the average, students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math on the SAT than students who do not study music. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66 percent of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. Only 44 percent of biochemistry majors were admitted. Hungary, Japan, and the Netherlands, the top three academic countries in the world, all place a great emphasis on music education and participation in music.

Napoleon understood the enormous power of music. He expressed the importance of music by saying, “Give me control over he who shapes the music of a nation, and I care not who makes the laws.”

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