Music and the Brain By: Alexandra W

Music is a part of culture and is used around the world for many things, even learning. Music classes should not be removed from schools. There are hundreds of ways that music can help the brain and therefore, help people. Studies have shown that children who listen to or play music are much more social and play with teams better. Some people think that music wastes both time and money, but the reality is that music can help in so many ways. among other things, music can enhance brain activity and use the full brain rather than just one part. Music is a wonderful experience, children should be given the opportunity to experience it.

Listening to and playing music can help in many ways. Have you ever listened to a song and started crying, smiling or laughing? That’s your reaction to the song. After listening to that song, oftentimes you still feel that way. Music can also improve your memory. Studies have shown that musicians remember things clearer and in more detail than others. Many times musicians can also remember when and where it happened. when our brains “file” a memory, sometimes it can be filed improperly. Music helps your brain organize or “file” things differently and more accurately. For example, a study was composed in which a group of people with similar brain activity took different classes for different activities (art, sports, music, cooking, etc.). Although all the participants took the classes for the same amount of time, and all showed considerable growth, musicians grew more than anyone else. Music has many benefits but some people fail to see them.

Many people decide to focus on the negative when it comes to music. Various people believe that music costs too much and is a waste of time that could be used for “more important” classes like math and reading. Many children struggle to play music, so why should children take time out of their day to try to play an instrument when so many kids struggle with math or reading already?

Also, music classes cost a lot. Schools have to be able to buy instruments, have enough space, and find someone who is willing to teach and knows the instrument. Although music does cost a lot, it is worth every penny of it. Besides, not only does music help your brain, it helps your grades as well.

Music is not a waste of time or money. When you are playing music, you are using more of your brain than any other daily activities. Music helps each hemisphere of the brain differently. When children are given the option to compose their own piece, they will have to do simple math just to make sure that each measure has the correct amount of beats (4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.). Furthermore, music helps your analyzation and strategizing skills which children can then apply to their daily life. When playing games, doing math or writing, analyzation and strategy are needed to solve problems. But one of the most important things that music does for for the brain (and for us), is to strengthen the corpus callosum or the communication system between the two hemispheres. When communication is quicker and smoother, children do better in school.

Along with communication, music also strengthens both hemispheres. The right hemisphere (creativity) benefits from writing and hearing patterns in music. The left hemisphere (academic) benefits from the analyzation process that musicians have to go through when given a new piece of music. Along with the two hemispheres, music helps your motor, visual and audio skills which will aid you in your day at both school and home.

In conclusion, music classes should continue to be a part of children’s education. Music helps brain activity and communication as well as other life skills such as analyzing and strategizing. Playing an instrument also uses more of your brain than any other activity. As study leader at the NAfME (National Association for Music Education) Professor Nina Kraus said, “We’re not saying that music is the single perfect way to improve academic performance, but music-making does provide a host of ingredients for brain stimulation.” Music is everywhere, why not at schools?

Works Cited

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