The Benefits of Music Education for Elementary School Students

The campaign to save music education has come to a screeching halt since the recession, mostly because education in general continues to suffer massive budget cuts in the United States. In 2013, 35 states will spend less per student than they did 5 years ago, with some cutting education funds by as much as 20 percent. A study by the Campaign for America’s Future says that not only are art, music, and PE classes being eliminated, but now even programs for special needs students are being cut.

Improve students learning skills by music education and benefits

As the quality of education declines, it’s easy to forget why it was important to teach children things like art and music in the first place. The benefits of music, in particular, are enormous for children under 12, and music classes can be instrumental – so to speak – to their development. This is what those children could now be missing.

Increased Brain Activity

Early exposure to music education has been proven to actually increase a child’s IQ and actively contribute to the development of their brain. The discipline involved in studying music improves their cognitive skills and makes them better learners. In fact, children who studied music in elementary school statistically get better grades in high school and go on to score much higher on the SATs. The evidence that music greatly improves the way a child thinks and reasons is overwhelming.

Skills for Every Subject

Learning to read music can also help kids learn math, and students who have taken music are better equipped to process foreign languages as well. For very young students, music is a key method for improving reading skills, as well as changing how they absorb knowledge. Music has also been linked to a child’s ability to retain information. It’s like playing Mozart to a baby in the womb. Even if a child doesn’t go on to study music, they can have better chances of success in so many other areas.

Self-esteem and Self-expression

One of the most important reasons a child in elementary school needs music education is because they might develop an early love for a particular instrument that can inspire them to pursue it. Learning an instrument has enormous benefits for a young person and raises their chances for academic success in the future. Nearly 95 percent of people who hold post-graduate degrees studied music when they were children. Learning an instrument also created confidence and gives a child a sense of identity, improving their studies and their social skills at the same time.


In music classes across the country, students have learned how to sing, dance, and clap together, and how to perform as part of an ensemble. There are few other activities in elementary school, besides participating in physical education programs, where a child learns the importance of the group quite so well. Music education has a distinct social benefit. And the fact that music class is a lot of fun is something that can’t be overlooked.

The problem of cutting music and arts education which has been going on since the 1990s has now expanded to a much larger issue, and that is the chipping away of quality education programs of all kinds. The education system is suffering from a severe lack of funding that cannot be overstated. What happens to kids who have a passion for music? Children from poorer families whose parents can’t afford to get them piano lessons or other private music education suffer the most. If students in America are expected to succeed academically, they need the tools that will inspire and help them to do so.

Stacie Everett writes for education blogs nationwide. If you enjoy music and believe in it as an education tool, you may enjoy a career in music education. Several schools offer degrees in music education including University of Florida and New York University.

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