The Importance of Music Education in Child Development
When the idea of early childhood education comes to mind, society is now brainwashed to quickly think of the basic core academics such as English and math. After the No Child Left Behind Act was introduced in 2001, basic core academic courses were brought to the forefront of children’s education while the arts seemed to merely diminish from the curriculum. What some have seemed to have forgotten is that early childhood education is not only about how well a child can learn to read, write or perform basic mathematical equations, but also how well they develop personally, socially and emotionally. Today, the removal of music education programs from public schools is resulting in a generation of children who are lacking in social, academic, and personal development.
The majority of music programs used in early education are developed to bring children closer together and teach them how to interact with others. While participating in music programs, children are placed into a more laid back education setting allowing them to openly engage in socializing with one another and learning and accepting other’s ideas. Because of the open atmosphere, children have a greater opportunity to develop new friendships and learn necessary skills needed to be socially active. They work in groups and learn to take turns, respect others’ ideas and beliefs, and learn to accept different cultural backgrounds. When children successfully engage in these group activities, they develop skills and learn the importance of teamwork, leadership, and respect for others’ ideas which helps them learn how to get along with one another (Brouillette 18).
Teamwork is a trait that, when not developed successfully, can have an enormous negative impact on childhood and adulthood development. A child cannot expand to his or her full potential socially without developing the skills necessary to function properly within a group or team setting. By working in a group setting while participating in music programs, a child will learn the importance of “sharing, taking turns, and subordinating individual urges to the others’ ideas, as well as the reality that they cannot have their own way all of the time“ (Brouillette 18). The skills developed by working within a group setting will continue to be carried on with that child throughout the remainder of their educations, as well as aiding them in the preparation of entering the work force as an adult. In a 2007 Harris Poll study, it was found that almost half of the adults studied who had participated in music programs as children claimed that their involvement in such programs was “extremely or very important” in giving them the skills necessary to “strive for individual excellence within a group setting”(Corso).
In addition to developing teamwork and group skills, children also use music programs to keep them away from negative influences that may otherwise surround them. In a 2007 study conducted for the purpose of finding the significance of music in middle school and high school children, it was found that “participating in music helped distract them from the lure of inappropriate behaviors involving alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gangs, and promiscuous sex” (Campbell, Connell, and Beegle). Since many of the schools that are currently facing budget cuts are located primarily in poverty stricken, high crime neighborhoods, the importance of keeping children positively influenced is essential to their success.
Furthermore, music programs aid socially in the development of friendships in children who share the same interests as their own. Many times, while participating in musical programs, children will remain involved in the same type of program throughout their entire education careers developing long lasting, deeply rooted friendships. The development of these lasting relationships has an incredible effect on a...
Cited: Brouillette, Liane. “How the Arts Help Children to Create Healthy Social Scripts: Exploring the Perceptions of Elementary Teachers.” Arts Education Policy Review 111.1 (2010): 16-24. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.
Campbell, Patricia Shehan, Claire Connell, and Amy Beegle. "Adolescents ' Expressed Meanings Of Music In And Out Of School." Journal Of Research In Music Education 55.3 (2007): 220-236. Academic Search Complete. Web. 8 Nov. 2011.
Corso, Regina. "Those with More Education and Higher Household Incomes Are More Likely to Have Had Music Education." Harris Interactive: Vault. The Harris Poll, 12 Nov. 2007. Web. 21 Oct. 2011.
Johnson, Christopher M., and Jenny E. Memmott. "Examination of Relationships between Participation in School Music Programs of Differing Quality and Standardized Test Results." Journal of Research in Music Education 54.4 (2006): 293-307. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 21 Oct. 2011.
Kinney, Daryl W. "Selected Demographic Variables, School Music Participation, And Achievement Test Scores Of Urban Middle School Students." Journal Of Research In Music Education 56.2 (2008): 145-161. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Nov. 2011.
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