Page 8 - The Benefits of Music Education
P. 8

                                                                            ANNABEL LYON
Author and 2009 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Winner
Music study made me disciplined, and it’s helped me to understand that you don’t need to feel brilliant or inspired all the time to know that you’re moving forward  Practicing scales isn’t particularly exciting, and sometimes neither is writing a  rst draft  But I’ve learned to push through the harder days, knowing my persistence will
pay off down the road 
Olympic Silver Medal- winning Rower
Music has shaped my life from an early age  I think of my life as a series of increases in personal discipline  It started with piano lessons  My parents did a great job keeping me from quitting for those  rst two years of study, but then I began to love the music more and more and continued studying because of that love 
As a youth and teenager I did not practice very much – 30 minutes a day or so  But piano lessons were my  rst experience sticking with something over a long period of time  This set me up for being able to pursue goals that did not come with quick rewards  Funny thing is now I am using those same experiences cultivated through sport to continue studying music more effectively 
6. Kirschner and Tomasello, Evolution and Human Behavior, 2010
7. Johnson, CM and Memmott JE, Examination of Relationships between Participants in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results, Journal of Research in Music Education (Winter 2006), Volume 54, Number 4
Empathy and Social Awareness
Recent studies have shown that collaborative music making
can increase empathy in toddlers. Empathy, in part, comes from being sensitive to subtle changes in the human voice that indicate mood and emotion. Children need to develop empathy if they are to thrive in family life, at school, and later, at work.
 is connection between music and empathy may be due to improved verbal intelligence. Playing music improves a child’s ability to listen and pick up nuances of speech – the way something is said and the emotions underneath the words, not just the words themselves, which in turn is a key element of empathy and emotional intelligence.
Music is inherently emotional, and musical memories are among the most visceral and vivid. Consequently, musicians must learn how to connect with people on an emotional level. Whether harmonizing in a choir or performing in a string quartet or simply jamming with friends, music students of any age, even the very young, learn how to share attention, co-operate and collaborate.  ese are extremely valuable skills in both personal relationships and in the workplace. Studies have even shown that collaborative musical activities can increase toddlers’ pro-social behaviours, making them more likely to help someone in need.6
High-quality Music Education Makes a Difference
The quality of a child’s music education
is linked to their academic achievement  Elementary school students in high quality music education programs outperformed those in lower-quality programs in standardized tests of
English and mathematics 7 While music education by itself may not be responsible for the entirety of the 20% improvement in test scores, scientists now believe
that the changes in the brain caused by music training can lead to improvements in general cognitive skills like memory, attention, and reading ability, all of which are predictive of educational outcomes 
          6 The Royal Conservatory April 2014

   6   7   8   9   10