It was only a matter of time until I got around to mentioning two of my favorite words….music education. I admit I’m biased because I’m a musician. However, I never had the opportunity to play music in a school music program. I was lucky to take private music lessons weekly or bi-weekly for 10 or 12 years. But as I see our ridiculous and broken education system trying to perfect a program that should never have been started (no child left behind), I have to state my opinion on how to improve test scores. My answer is…mandatory music playing for every student…period. Watch the test scores go up over night.
Music Makes You Smarter!
I double dare you to Google those four words. Yes, there will be over 5 million results but just read a few and you’ll be convinced that music can give your child so many life-long rewards. Your child will have more confidence, self-esteem, better memory, increased math skills, improved language skills and improved mood. There should be parents marching on school boards demanding music for each child. The test scores will rise and the board will look like heroes.
In the late 80s and early 90s I kept a close eye on reports from a few groups doing early research on brain functions changes while playing a musical instrument. WisconsinUniversityand UC Irvine in California had some amazing results.
Here’s one statistic every parent should know. A group of 10 & 11 year old kids had their brains hooked up to a monitor. When these kids were given very tough math problems or complicated reading/writing assignments, they were “using” about 15% of one side of their brain. The same kids playing a clarinet used 85% of the “entire” brain. Enough said. Music Makes You Smarter.