Music education is quickly becoming a forgotten subject. Some schools don’t make it compulsory anymore, so plenty of kids grow up without music lessons. You might see this and think it’s not a big deal at all. After all, why bother wasting time learning how to play an instrument when you could do something more productive?
Ironically, the skills developed during music lessons are often far better and more meaningful than the information gained from other lessons. More schools need to make this an essential subject that students should take for at least a year – or possibly only have a few lessons per year. It doesn’t need to be evaluated or tested, so no grades have to be given out. There are many benefits to music education, and we’ll discuss them in this post.
But first, there’s another question on our minds…
Why is music education falling out of favor?
In all honesty, music education is falling out of favor at many high schools for a common reason throughout the education industry: money.
It costs money to acquire musical instruments, so many institutions see this as the first budget cut they can make. If we’re being realistic, this is a bogus reason as they can always use instrument rental services instead. Plus, music labs can be rented out to other music teachers, helping the school bring in more money. But that’s a discussion for another day!
The benefits of teaching music in schools
Like a lot of non-academic subjects, music is viewed with an unfavorable lens. People see it as a waste of time, when it’s completely the opposite. You will find countless studies or resources online detailing the benefits of learning music at a young age. We won’t list every single benefit, but here are a few key things to note:
- Learning music improves memory and focus
- Playing a musical instrument increases creativity in children/teens
- Music is a source of relief and can help students deal with mental health issues
- Playing an instrument greatly boosts confidence and self-esteem
- Learning how to play music improves cognitive flexibility and multitasking
- Motor skills are enhanced and developed when playing instruments
- Music lessons can lead to extracurricular activities that help students make friends
Clearly, there are loads of benefits that carry over into other aspects of life. That’s the key here; music lessons help students improve in so many ways. If we only look at the top point in this list, we can instantly see how improved memory and focus help throughout a student’s life. It can actually make them better at other school subjects, helping them score higher on tests because their memory is improved and they remember answers.
The problem with making music lessons optional is that so many children or teens miss out on fantastic development opportunities. Music is such a beautiful part of our lives and plenty of adults look back on their childhood wishing they learned an instrument. There’s an old saying that if you learn how to play an instrument, you’ll never be bored in your life ever again. Schools should make this a compulsory subject from a young age – it’s far more important than you’ll ever believe.