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Does Music Make Kids Smarter?

  • Ryan Duncan
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  • 2014 Sep 08
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“Music is a higher revelation than all Wisdom & Philosophy” – Ludwig van Beethoven

There’s no denying Beethoven may have a point. After all, music is a gift that we humans sometimes don’t fully appreciate. It can be the rush of adrenaline we need to finish that second mile. It can be that place of comfort we retreat to on the bad days, and it can be the key God uses to unlock our hearts. Not to mention, if recent studies are to be believed, music can even make us smarter.

According to an article in World Magazine, children who spend at least two years learning to play a musical instrument show improved reading and speech skills. Laura Edghill of World writes,

“The findings provide a welcome boost for advocates of music education. Music programs are often at risk in public schools as governing boards struggle to balance competing financial interests. Music classes, bands, and ensembles can seem like ‘extras,’ not worth fighting for when budgets are tight and public scrutiny is focused on math and reading scores.”

“But unlike most other subjects, playing a musical instrument engages students holistically. It challenges them academically, requiring literacy and math skills ranging from mundane to sophisticated. It requires students to experience learning physically—moving fingers, arms, legs, and even feet to produce the proper sound. It probes students’ emotional and spiritual depths, asking meaningful, artistic questions that often have deeply personal answers.”      

These findings should certainly interest parents looking to give their children the best openings for good education. Children in public schools can take advantage of music through afterschool hobbies or extracurricular activities. For those who homeschool their children though, music can offer a truly unique opportunity. Author Diana Waring recently shared with Crosswalk how homeschooling parents can foster genius in their children. Among her comments was the suggestion that creativity is an essential part of learning.    

Waring writes,      

“When you recognize that creativityand imaginationare intricately interwoven, then to take time for imaginative play suddenly becomes very important. An active imagination produces a tendency to ‘think outside the box,’ and this can bring originality into nearly any endeavor. Make no mistake, originality is a priceless commodity in today’s world. This means that as a homeschooler, you have an opportunity to give your children an invaluable preparation for their future. All you have to do is schedule in the time—generous helpings of time—for unstructured, imaginative play in the school day.”

Whether homeschooled or public schooled, music is still a wonderful tool that can help kids achieve their full potential. Parents of a young children might encourage them to play a few notes on the piano, or maybe introduce them to some favorite hymns. You never know what a little music can teach you.

What about you? What are your thoughts on music and education? Are you a Christian parent interested in learning more? Be sure to check out Crosswalk's Parenting and Homeschool channels for new articles.

*Ryan Duncan is Crosswalk.com's Entertainment Editor

**Published 9/8/2014 

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