Music Education Matters to Cognitive Development

Music education has a powerful impact on students and how they learn. Music education boosts fine motor skills, promotes memory and nurtures critical-thinking skills. According to the Arts Education Partnership (AEP), music education helps students develop basic mental skills, prepares the brain for achievement and fosters superior thinking skills. When students study music, they not only develop musical skills but also gain benefits that extend to other academic areas. Research has shown that music education advances math achievement, boosts English language arts and reading skills, improves retention of verbal information and recall and increases SAT scores.

An online Master of Music Education from Lamar University can help inspire future musicians by giving music educators the tools to apply sound techniques and teaching strategies to students from diverse backgrounds.

The Importance of Music Education

In recent years, many school districts around the country have cut their music programs due to budget cuts and lack of funding. However, many schools fail to realize that music education can positively impact students in areas such as cognitive development, social and emotional learning (SEL) and academic achievement. Studies show that music education encourages students to have a more extensive vocabulary and increased reading comprehension skills because areas of the brain that control language comprehension and musical ability are closer than once thought. Recent research has shown that students with musical training have better results on memory tests and switching their attention from one task to another.

Not only is music education essential for a student’s academic performance, but it’s also beneficial to developing social skills and providing a creative outlet. Students who participate in music education have heightened problem-solving skills, mental processing capabilities and enhanced hand-eye coordination. When students learn to play an instrument, they also learn that practice, patience and effort are part of achieving goals and mastering new techniques. This engagement translates into other areas of their lives and promotes improved study skills in other subjects.

Learning how to play music with a group promotes teamwork and a sense of belonging with other like-minded peers. Developing relationships and discovering how to work together by listening attentively, understanding opposing viewpoints and recognizing emotion are part of making music with other people.

Music can also expose students to different cultures, languages and customs. In early childhood education, games and songs contribute to an understanding of cultures outside their own and create an environment of respect. Learning music from other traditions provides the opportunity to learn how to accept differences.

A musical performance is also an opportunity for students to learn and practice emotional and social skills. Performing in front of an audience can help individuals tackle feelings of anxiety, stress and stage fright and learn how to deal with failure and success. Improvement of self-discipline, self-control and self-esteem are other benefits of music education.

Next Steps

The curriculum for Lamar University’s online Master of Music Education program emphasizes a comprehensive study of music pedagogy’s philosophical, historical and psychological foundation. In courses such as Inquiry in Music Education, students learn how to read and understand research articles, become familiar with various genres of research in music education and design and complete a research study of their own.

Through this online program, graduates gain skills in musicianship and educational leadership they can use to impact student success in a broad range of learning environments. If you’re interested in how educators can make a difference in student’s learning experiences, this program may be right for you.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online Master of Music Education program.

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By submitting this form, I am providing my digital signature agreeing that Lamar University (LU) may email me or contact me regarding educational services by telephone and/or text message utilizing automated technology or a pre-recorded message at the telephone number(s) provided above. I understand this consent is not a condition to attend LU or to purchase any other goods or services.