The Value of Music Education
All of us have heard about studies that have proven that music education can help a child’s mathematical ability, help them attain higher results in school and increase their capacity for memorization. Music has also been demonstrated to allow people to unwind and relax. Even to invoke certain emotions or help recall moments from the past which were indelibly marked by the music being heard at that particular time.
The value of music education is demonstrably immense on the human brain, but I want to present it in a different light here. The goal here is to simplify it down to fundamentals that anyone can understand, without having to look at a brain scan, or study human psychology or understand any music theory whatsoever.
Putting all mood-altering benefits aside, music is not only enjoyable to listen to; it is also enjoyable to play in terms of feeling a sense of accomplishment when we finally play that chord or that melody correctly. It is this simple rewarding feeling that makes music so vital in the development of our brain.
Learning how to learn is the real key here. That is what music education offers us. It isn’t necessarily about learning music, the goal (and ultimately the result) is to learn how to learn, to master how to master something. Music just happens to be a fun activity that can allow us to learn these abilities or “soft skills”. The formula is simple, when something is fun to do, we do it more often…when we do something more often, we usually become better at it.
Some parents like to sign their kids up for Karate, or figure skating, but regardless of what they sign them up for, the goal is for them to learn how to learn. Not necessarily to learn Karate or figure skating. The added advantage of music is that it is physical, emotional and intellectual. It requires all components to be actively engaged at once to make progress. When someone understands how to master something like music, they can then apply it to everything in their life.
This is why they say musicians are often better at this or that. Music education is not just about learning how to play Fur Elise by Beethoven, it’s about learning how to learn.