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Love your kids? Teach them music!

Teach-your-kids-musicHow did you learn your ABC's? Seriously, think about it. The most crucial foundation of language, you learned as a song.

Why? Because it made it easier to learn. Many people can't even say the alphabet without singing the song. Sadly, this is a DUI test used by the police, and some say it's harder to say the alphabet without singing than it is to say it backwards! That's powerful memory at work. 

Music education can do that, and so much more for our children and their development. Actually learning to play an instrument provides some amazing scientifically proven benefits. If I can do one thing in building SMASHmouse, it would be to make it easier for kids (and adults) to learn a musical instrument using technology. If I can do that, I'll be providing amazing things for them: 

Music Lessons for Children - How Kids Benefit from Music Education

Writing blogs is hard. Yes, building a business from scratch is hard, but I think writing blogs is harder because I want to make it meaningful. But I don’t have any way of knowing what I think is meaningful is meaningful to YOU!!

I feel confident that if you have children, have nieces/nephews, or just love children, than this blog will have value. I'm not going to spend time waxing eloquent about music education. In the famous words of Joe Friday, today it's "Just the Facts" (Search it if you're too old to get the reference).

Of course, a favorite way to learn on any topic is to watch Ted Talks. So I did that, and I found almost 1.7 million videos searching "music education for children Ted Talk"! Search "music and the brain ted talk" and you'll get 5.34 Million results. Suffice it to say there is a ton of research showing the power of music education for the social, intellectual and emotional development of children. I like this one to get you warmed up.

What if every child had access to music education from birth? | Anita Collins | TEDxCanberra 

Not convinced yet? I've put below a list of proven values of learning to play an instrument and music education for children. Hopefully, by the time you finish reading these facts, you will be searching 'music lessons' and 'music store' to get your kid started playing. Better yet, take lessons together!

Thank you for reading. Please like and share our blogs and posts. Better yet, please respond with your experiences! Share your story of how music makes you better, you may be the motivation for someone starting to play or getting their kids lessons. You can change a life!

Thank you for reading. Please like and share our blogs and posts. Our Kickstarter campaign launches on April 17th, 2018. Your support is critical, especially the first day of the campaign. I hope you can help me accomplish my primary goal of making it easier for children to learn to play an instrument using technology and SMASHmouse. Now, they can keep their hands on their instruments and control the videos and online lessons they learn from. 

So, please, Let's Kick It to Click It and help kids with the power of music education!

Thank you for your support.

Best,

Robb

The Power of Music Education and its effects on Children:

This is but a small sample of all the amazing facts I found. Research tells us children who play music do better in school and in life:

  • Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons (Arete Music Academy. "Statistical benefits of music in education." Arete Music Academy. Accessed July 17, 2014).
  • Students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of community (Nature Neuroscience, April 2007).
  • It’s  striking that both teachers (87 percent) and parents (79 percent) strongly believe music education has a positive impact on overall academic performance (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • A study of 8 to 11-year-olds found that, those who had extra-curricular music classes, developed higher verbal IQ, and visual abilities, in comparison to those with no musical training (Forgeard et al., "Practicing a Musical Instrument in Childhood is Associated with Enhanced Verbal Ability and Nonverbal Reasoning," PLOS One, 2008).
  • A study of almost one thousand Finnish pupils who took part in extended music classes, found they reported higher satisfaction at school in almost every area, even those not related to the music classes themselves (Eerola & Eerola, "Extended music education enhances the quality of school life," Music Education Research, 2013).
  • Studies have shown that young children who take keyboard lessons have greater abstract reasoning abilities than their peers, and that these abilities improve over time with sustained training in music (Rauscher, F.H. , & Zupan, M., "Classroom keyboard instruction improves kindergarten children's spatial-temporal performance: A field experiment" Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15 , 215-228.2000)
  • Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children are learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns (Lynn Kleiner, founder of Music Rhapsody in Redondo Beach, CA).
  • Researchers found that after two years, children who not only regularly attended music classes, but also actively participated in the class, showed larger improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers (Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, quoted in Melissa Locker, "This Is How Music Can Change Your Brain," Time, December 16, 2014).
  • Music training not only helps children develop fine motor skills, but aids emotional and behavioral maturation as well, according to a new study, one of the largest to investigate the effects of playing an instrument on brain development (Amy Ellis Nutt, "Music lessons spur emotional and behavioral growth in children, new study says," The Washington Post, January 7, 2015).
  • A Canadian study of 48 preschoolers and published in 2011, found that verbal IQ increased after only 20 days of music training. In fact, the increase was five times that of a control group of preschoolers, who were given visual art lessons, says lead researcher Sylvain Moreno, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He found that music training enhanced the children’s “executive function”—that is, their brains’ ability to plan, organize, strategize and solve problems. And he found the effect in 90% of the children, an unusually high rate (Joanne Lipman, "A Musical Fix for American Schools," The Wall Street Journal,  October 10, 2014).
  • Four of the top five benefits teachers see in the potential of music education to help students express themselves (cited by 92 percent of teachers), become more confident (90 percent), and develop better practice habits (89 percent) and more self-discipline (88 percent) (NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC, 2015. Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in the United States: 2015).
  • Lessons offer a forum where children can learn to accept and give constructive criticism. Turning negative feedback into positive change helps build self-confidence (Mary Larew, Suzuki violin teacher at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut. Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation).
  • Making music together, children learn to work as a team while they each contribute to the song in their own way. At the same time, music helps children learn that together they can make something larger than the sum of its parts (© 2015 Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization).
  • More benefits of music for children include learning cooperation, sharing, compromise, creativity, and concentration - skills that become invaluable as they enter school, face new challenges, and begin to form new friendships and develop social skills (© 2015 Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization).

The results of music education is the development of better adults:

  • Adults who receive formal music instruction as children have more robust brainstem responses to sound than peers who never participate in music lessons and that the magnitude of the response correlates with how recently training ceased. These results suggest that neural changes accompanying musical training during childhood are retained in adulthood (Skoe, E. & Kraus, N. 2012. A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood, Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 34, 11510. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1949-12.2012).
  • Researchers found that those who played an instrument for two years showed a stronger "neurophysiological distinction" between certain sounds than children who didn't get the instrumental training. For instance, the music-makers more easily could tell the difference between the words "bill" and "pill," a key skill in learning to read (Skoe, E. & Kraus, N. (2012). A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain Is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood, Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 34, 11510. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1949-12.2012).
  • Four out of five Americans (80%) believe their music education has contributed to their level of personal fulfillment (July 2014 Harris Poll).
  • Two-thirds (67%) of Americans say music education provides people with a disciplined approach to solving problems (July 2014 Harris Poll).
  • Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say that music education prepares someone to manage the tasks of their job more successfully (July 2014 Harris Poll).
  • The College Entrance Examination Board found that students involved in public school music programs scored 107 points higher on the SAT's than students with no participation (Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by the Music Educators National Conference, 2002).
  • "Look carefully and you’ll find musicians at the top of almost any industry. Woody Allen performs weekly with a jazz band. The television broadcaster Paula Zahn (cello) and the NBC chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd (French horn) attended college on music scholarships; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell trained to become a professional violinist. Both Microsoft’s Mr. Allen and the venture capitalist Roger McNamee have rock bands. Larry Page, a co-founder of Google, played saxophone in high school. Steven Spielberg is a clarinetist and son of a pianist. The former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn has played cello at Carnegie Hall." - Joanne Lipman, "Is Music the Key to Success?" The New York Times, October 13, 2013.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/opinion/sunday/is-music-the-key-to-success.html?_r=0
  •  “We don’t see these kinds of biological changes in people who are just listening to music, who are not playing an instrument. I like to give the analogy that you’re not going to become physically fit just by watching sports.”- Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, quoted in Melissa Locker, "This Is How Music Can Change Your Brain," Time, December 16, 2014

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