Music Makes Kids Smart

The policies of George W. have forced many cuts to local school budgets over the last eight years.

One cut  we have felt is that 4th graders at our elementary school can no longer learn a string instrument until 5th and they may cut the Strings Program all together.

Emma is in fifth. Since third grade she’s taken the standardized tests required by George W, which tell us what we already knew, she’s extremely intelligent.

Someone should tell old Dubya, that study after study has shown that learning music can make kids smarter.

When your child learns to play a musical instrument, not only does he learn how to make tunes, but he also enhances other capabilities of his brain as well:

* A 10 year study involving 25,000 students show that music-making improves test scores in standardized tests, as well as in reading proficiency exams (Source: James Catterall, UCLA, 1997).
* High school music students score higher on the math and verbal portion of SAT, compared to their peers (Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators Conference, 2001).
* The IQ’s of young students who had nine months of weekly training in piano or voice rose nearly three points more than their untrained peers (Study by E. Glenn Schellenberg, of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, 2004.)
* Piano students can understand mathematical and scientific concepts more readily. Children who received piano training performed 34 percent higher on tests measuring proportional reasoning – ratios, fractions, proportions, and thinking in space and time (Neurological Research, 1997).
* Pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly in students who were given a 3-year piano instruction (Dr. Eugenia Costa-Giomi study presented at the meeting of the Music Educators National Conference, Phoenix, AZ, 1998).
* Music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. These music students also have more A and B grades compared to non-music students (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up, U.S. Department of Education).
* More music majors who applied for medical school were admitted compared to those in other majors including English, biology, chemistry and math. (“The Comparative Academic Abilites of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University,” Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480; “The Case for Music in Schools”, Phi Delta Kappan, 1994)

Other research also linked music making with increased language discrimination and development, improved school grades, and better-adjusted social behavior.  Why does this happen? What is at work here?  and why is George Dubya making decisions that force cutting music programs around the country?

Why Dubya, why???

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