Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
More proof that arts education is a necessity! This Wall Street Journal article provides evidence from several studies that music education increases students IQs more than other activities. Here’s a taste:
“In a 2009 study in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers used an MRI to study the brains of 31 6-year-old children, before and after they took lessons on musical instrument for 15 months. They found that the music students’ brains grew larger in the areas that control fine motor skills and hearing—and that students’ abilities in both those areas also improved. The corpus callosum, which connects the left and right sides of the brain, grew as well.”
“Last year, the German Institute for Economic Research compared music training with sports, theater and dance in a study of 17-year-olds. The research, based on a survey of more than 3,000 teens, found that those who had taken music lessons outside school scored significantly higher in terms of cognitive skills, had better grades and were more conscientious and ambitious than their peers. The impact of music was more than twice that of the other activities—and held true regardless of the students’ socioeconomic background.”
The article contends that not only will music education help children develop a well-rounded mind but it is also a cost-efficient approach to fixing the academic disparity between wealthy and poverty stricken school districts.
Based on personal experience, I agree music education is invaluable. Not only does it help the individual hone creativity, connect to culture, and (allegedly) increase IQ, it also helps develop diligence and patience. With these wonderful benefits, I think it is important to remember that art/music education is more than a means to an end. Art can be inspiriting for a young mind and this alone is enough reason to give arts education programs importance.
What was your arts/music education like? Did you guys find it helped boost your academic performance?