The power behind music education

By Sergio González | 11:15
Children at music class

Enroll your kids on a music class. Education + tons of fun!

Can music make you smarter? Simple question, simple answer. Yes, it not only can, but it actually does.

Have you ever heard that musicians actually listen to more notes than we do and feel songs completely different? Another myth proved true. Researchers at University of München in Germany found out that it’s because their brain is larger, an average of 25% larger in fact, depending on how early they started playing an instrument. 

In 2007 Dr. Christopher Johnson and Jenny Memmott published the results of their study of children’s academic performance depending on the music program quality at the school they attended.

It showed that not only kids attending schools with top music programs had better results in Maths or Physics, than the ones at regular schools, but also that the worst performing were the pupils that had bad quality music education programs. Music is far more powerful than we can appreciate at first so don’t play for others unless you know how to!

It would be mind-boggling enough if music just enhanced intelligence but its power goes far beyond us. The Texas Department of Health conducted a study in the ’90s about the relation between alcohol, tobacco, drugs and music among high-school students. Teenagers who were attending music programs were found less likely to consume and, then again, the better the quality of the music class, the more beneficial for kids.  

We don’t need to be convinced about the practical benefits of music education: better grades at school and a healthy life out of drugs is enough for us to be very willing to support a powerful music education for our children, but music can go even further and affect us on a spiritual level. It’s not just that it can shake your feelings and make you dream or mourn along with the singer’s voice, music makes our spirits stronger and our hearts more adventurous. It’s a beautiful life for musicians.

College Board, an educational nonprofit organization, published the following conclusion to the results of their 2002 field study: learning in the arts nurtures motivation, including active engagement, disciplined and sustained attention, persistence and risk taking. It also increases attendance and educational aspirations.

Indian man playing a medicinal drum

Music therapy has been a long practice in India

More than leisure

Speaking plainly, music is all about vibration and so is our brain, mathematics, the seas and our entire universe. For many years, different people have been chasing the key knowledge that unveils the greater common pattern, the Maths of God.

Ancient tribes in Africa performing rituals with drums and flutes to heal their ill ones, Plato considering harmony a part of Physics or early Chinese theorists regarding the mathematical laws behind music as essential to human well-being and understanding are just examples of how old and important music is for us. 

In Western science, it wasn’t taken seriously until Einstein theorized about relativity and the strings of our Universe.

An outlander may still laugh at first when watching some indigenous West Africans chant from their throats while jumping around  rhythmically but this time, our first impression is proved wrong by modern music therapy.

Sound and vibration are currently under study by CERN and USAF as the most plausible form of fuel for future cars, planes or even space ships, and medical research is actually trying to find how to seal bones with induced vibration. Take music more seriously and perhaps make a career out of it.

We live in an empirical society and we are taught to question and wonder so don’t trust this, find out for yourself if this is true with a simple experiment.

Grab two plants, $1 flower pots will do. Make sure they are the same in health, size and age and water and feed them equally. During two weeks, talk with them everyday single day. Nicely to one and meanly to the other. 

Obviously, they won’t understand the meaning –they’ll only care about the vibration of your voice– so no matter if you call your ficus a moron or a sweetheart, but do it tenderly. You’ll see with your own eyes how good and bad vibes actually work.

One plant will flourish beautiful and strong, the other will grow -if all- stunted and sickly, clearly depressed. Consider remembering this the next time you’re about to yell at somebody, we are all connected in ways we still don’t understand.

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks

Photo Credit: VinothChandar

 

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