When we hear about music and other art programs in our school curriculum, most of us are guilty of putting it aside. For example, the focus is then put on the basic or standard studies in schools such as reading, writing and arithmetic. Little do a lot of us know that the importance of including music in that list is as crucial as the others.
Programs are being cut from school budgets at an alarming rate to save money, i.e. physical education, art and music classes. There is already a whole generation of teachers and parents who haven’t had the advantages of arts in their own education. Many teachers don’t know how to include any kind of art in their teaching these days and parents don’t know how to ask for it.
Studies have shown that including musical studies such as learning to play an instrument or class sing-alongs and even drama have impacted the way children learn and process knowledge.
Stated from an interview with Tom Home, Arizona’s state superintendent of public instruction, “There’s lots of evidence that kids immersed in the arts do better on their academic tests.”
The connection of math and music is in the note reading for instance. Quarter, half and whole notes can be applied to fractions, and numbers as well as symbols can also apply to mathematics. The word reading in songs can apply to languages arts, just to mention a couple of ways music is useful in academics, says Dr. Diana Hollinger, Music Education Instructor, San Jose State University.
In 2006 a national survey found that in the five years after enactment of NCLB, that 44% of the school districts increased time spent on academic classes like English language arts and math and decreased time on other subjects. The follow-up analysis in Feb. 2008 showed that 16% of the school districts decreased class time for music and art. In California participation in music courses dropped 46% from 1999-2000 through 2000-2004 and total enrollment increased 6%.
It is known that we are still feeling the impact from Proposition 13 from the 1970’s. This is partly because we tend to cut art programs instead of what is visually seen first like transcripts or report cards before the long term effects are realized. There is a primitive approach to music classes in schools to this day and by reading the studies out there and seeing the growth of technology, maybe there is a more modern way to go about teaching these skills to our kids. For instance. the Hilltop High School in the Sweetwater District in California, has introduced electronic music courses to their students and they are learning music without even knowing it.
“After all we ask our kids to read Shakespeare, why don’t we still teach Mozart? It’s the classics we aspire to not the comic book level learning that we want for our students.” Samuel Hope, executive director of the National Association of Schools and Music, says that the five ways we communicate and organize thought is first in letters and words, which is our language. The second is numbers and symbols which is mathematics.
And the next three are still images like architecture and design, moving images like in dance and film and abstract sound that is in music. The emphasis is only driven to the first two as it appears most obvious of the outcome. Children still have the thirst for performing and teaching each other music, they show it in their ipods and other electronic devices that they carry or possess. So keeping music classes in schools seems more important than ever.
Do we want superheros to inspire our children or real heros of history like Mozart and Bach? I think the answer is more simple than we think. The arts feed on each other and develop self esteem and confidence. It is also known for the development of social interaction, small and large motor skills. For instance, children can learn as a group and dancing or playing an instrument helps develop social and motor skills alike.
These budget cuts are taking the opportunities to learn through different mediums right of our childrens hands. Besides not being able to teach them how to work together, like in a large group such as a music class, they don’t learn simple tasks like taking turns, listening for their cue to participate and the respect of personal property, like instruments.
They are missing out on developing crucial social skills. These are ALL important to their overall development. Often music classes involve such things as clapping of hands, stomping of feet, basic dancing and singing at the top of your lungs; who wouldn’t have fun doing that? Some studies have shown that developmentally or physically challenged children have responded very positively to music programs and that breathing and speech disabilities improved over time. For example, using these skills in therapy, it helps to develop breathing and hand mouth coordination.
For the first time in thirty years in the Dallas Independent School District students receive forty-five minutes a week of art and music instruction. Gigi Antoni, president and CEO of Big Thought which is a non-profit with the district, explained the rationale behind what was then called the Dallas Arts Learning Initiative: “DALI was created with the idealistic and meticulously researched premise that students would flourish when creativity drives learning.”
And more than sixty other local arts and cultural institutions agreed with this statement. Following suit throughout the United States is something to strive for in the future given the astounding studies done on this subject floating out there. It is understood after reading several of these studies that music is indeed an importance in the growth of our children and music should be kept in the core curriculum of their studies.
Debra Levy is student at Front Range Community College. EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an online-only column and has not been edited.
Pre-Writing: Importance of music
Music emphasizes and ensures that facts and figures stick on one’s mind. Traditional settings in a bid to pass strong messages initially used music. In this context, music is well used by the children to learn lessons about life. It is so essential to enable fast understanding, and acts as a means that impact more in terms of knowledge to the receivers who are children.
Early education is embarked with its demerits and from music and its repetitive nature, important lessons about life are taught and learnt by the children themselves. The importance of Music can therefore never be over emphasized as it is the root of knowledge and music plays an important role in entertaining the minors and the juniors.
a) Importance of music
a) Aims of music
b) Main purpose
a. Music as a way to knowledge
b. Music and intelligence
c. Making of music
4. Music development
a. Learning process of a child about music
b. Music and young children
c. The difference between watching TV and listening to music
d. Music environment
e. Qualities of children at birth
f. Factors considered to carry out music
g. Music and talent
h. Why music should be encouraged during early childhood
Aims of music
The popularization of research from the study by the media shows that there is a casual relation between spatial reasoning and music training in children (Rauscher et al. 1993, 1970) has attracted the attention of many people and elicited mixed reaction from learners. As a result, the learners have to tell decision makers about other reasons for educating the children music in their childhood process.
The main reason of this paper is to research on the function of music that leads to its inclusion for its own sake in the curriculum for early childhood education.
Music as a way to knowledge
Music is the way to knowledge. According to Howard Gardner, music knowledge weighs the same with the importance of logical-mathematical knowledge, spatial intelligence, linguistic insight, intrapersonal intelligence, and interpersonal intelligence.
Music and intelligence
To Thomas Armstrong (1994)”intelligence is galvanized by participation in some culturally level activity, and that individual’s development in such doings adheres to a developing pattern: every activity possesses its own time arising in childhood. This is because music influences the way a young person thinks thus enhancing his/her intelligence.
Making of music
The making of music is a basic way of life skill similar to talking and walking. There is a suggestion that it is recommendable for children to be shown, trained in and be cultured by way of music for its own reason. It is a right from birth that all children to be able to sing in tune and dance to a beat (Levinowitz and Guilmartin 1989, 1992, 1996) to make sure a comprehensive learning experience, must be part of early childhood education. Practically the discussion that music learning is an extra finds no aim and support.
For music development, it is necessary to have music instruction in the early years of being a child. It has been widely researched since the Second World War. As it is evident in the initial observation of preparatory school the child’s musical life and educated us about the personality and course of their music behavior, the characteristic of music presentation of young children usually provide a passage for music physiologists and teachers can comprehend the formation of the child’s rising skills.
Learning process of a child about music
We have generally learned that a child from birth to approximately the age of six do not bring books the same way as the adults do bring it out. The early childhood is a period whereby rapid changes do occur to the developing child.
This period is the trickiest period in a Childs musical development. Even the smallest infant is trained to receive music and undermine it along with differences in regularity, melody, and stimuli.
Music and young children
During the years of birth to the age of six are tricky in acquiring the knowledge of how to unravel the aural descriptions of music and to grow psychological representations for arranging the music of the tradition. This process is the same with that which helps in the development of language at the time of “language bubble stage.”
The difference between watching TV and listening to music
Knowledge acquired through this avenue thus it further encourages the idea that, like language growth, young children grow in music through an expected order to basic musical competence. This involves singing in a tune and dancing to a beat. Consider this idea: in television, images are readily found for any channel: however in order to see one must have a cable box to decipher the images of music.
At this early childhood is where kids know about their world for the most part through the play, which has magical process. In particularly young children, the substance of play is usually comprised of objects within the environment and situations to which they have been left with.
If the musical environment were sufficiently wealthy, there would be an unbroken and ever wealthy spiral of exposure to the musical things, which are followed by the playful experimentations of the child with these elements.
It has been identified by that early childhood growth as the period on which development music amplitude. It was the time of these years musical amplitude, which relies on the complicated construction of audition, is in a position of transformation. This is because this child’s musical potential is vulnerable to negative or positive influences through both environment and instruction.
Without enough exposure and stimulation, a Childs little knowledge is put to test and learning during their musical play. The negative influence on the musical growth potential is disregarded. Hence, the inside potential for musical development may actually be a trophy.
Qualities of children at birth
All children are given birth to while having the amplitude to learn and speak properly and know their traditional language. All this children are born with amplitude to educate themselves and have the insight of their cultural music.
When the child has grown the mental illustration of his or her traditional music, the inner truth should make the external recital to be more exact.
Factors considered carrying out music
A research conducted request that the knowledge of the traditional music and the capability to perform accurately are unnecessary linked. The capability to carry out the music exactly may be contributed to by two factors. The first one being audition, which includes gaining of sound and the dispensation of it.
The other one is the performer’s procedural gain with their singing and body movements “instruments,” which are generally kinesthetic. In addition, to growth the mental representation or audition of music, is increased in the early years of a child. If in performance one is not properly budding, the ability to practice music vocally will not respond with the capability to think and analyze tonally.
Music and talent
The vocal variety is extremely wide starting from birth. Infants can experiment and imitate with their own vocal instruments and even have the same voice from three to four months of age. Persistently singing can start with twelve months.
During this time, grownups can identify scraps of songs to which young people have been opened to through this unrelenting publicity to oral chants and vocal play. These infants can develop the usage of their singing voices during the left childhood years thus also important in the development of talent.
Why music should be encouraged during early childhood
If the environment has supported the vocal development, most children will have to enter kindergarten while having to be able to use their singing voices. Unluckily, a recent research indicates a decrease in a student’s capability to use their singing voices in the past twenty years. In fact, less half of the nursery school age kids were able to distinguish between their speaking voices and singing when performing a known song. This maybe the consequence of missing the time key to grow the singing voice during their early childhood days in the course of playful activities and thoughtful grown-up assistance.
Both the traditions and contemporary study of many customs of many societies have confirmed an insightful link connecting rhythm and movement. The research of tempo in their bodies prior to them can hopefully audit the beat in their minds.
The early years in childhood, especially if grownups realize the significance of early motor development and interaction with language .the years are also crucial for dancing or by means of the body in response to beats in many different types of music. Good harmonious instruments can then turn out to be amplifications of the body ability to be expressive musically.
It is of paramount importance to note that music increases the chances of good casual relationships within children. This implies that the learning abilities of children are raised when they are introduced to music during their early years. Music increases children’s thinking capacity and imagination because they have to decipher the tune as well as the tone of the music they are listening and this increases their imagination. Children’s minds are like a blank piece of paper that is ready to register anything that is happening around. Music increases imagination among children something, which is very good for their learning.
a) Hitchcock, H. Wiley, and Stanley Sadie. The New Grove dictionary of American music. New York, N.Y.: Grove’s Dictionaries of Music, 1986. Print.
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b) Mays, Dorothy A. Women in early America: struggle, survival, and freedom in a new world. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2004. Print.
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c) Morris, Lawrence. Daily life through world history in primary documents. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print.
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d.) Nespeca, Sue McCleaf, and Joan B. Reeve. Picture books plus: 100 extension activities in art, drama, music, math, and science. Chicago: American Library Association, 2003. Print.
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e.) Smithrim, Katharine, and Rena Brigit Upitis. Listen to their voices: research and practice in early childhood music. Toronto: Canadian Music Educator’s [i.e. Educators’] Association, 2007. Print.
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