ÛÏMusic has an incredible influence over people,Û said Frank Degler, a world-renowned musician and musical prodigy ÛÒ at age 3 he was playing the piano. ÛÏWeÛªve known this for decades. There is a direct correlation between music education and learning ability.Û
Think of the ABCÛªs, the alphabet would be more challenging for children to learn if it wasnÛªt put to a tune.
ÛÏMusic enlightens the cerebral matter to excite it and helps them learn,Û Degler said.
Multiple music studies have demonstrated that listening to music, particularly classical pieces, while working and studying can lead to an increased productivity and memory of the information. This was theorized in a report known as the ÛÏMozart Study,Û suggesting that listening to Mozart has a beneficial effect on mental development.
The impact of music in a personÛªs life is so important that in fall 2009 the White House hosted classical music workshops because of the ObamaÛªs strong belief that music plays a vital role in a childÛªs education.
According to a White House press release, First Lady Obama believes that through music, “You'll learn that if you believe in yourself and put in your best effort, that there's nothing you can't achieve; and those aren't just lessons about music, these are really lessons about life.”
Degler suggests starting children on the classics before moving on to current pieces of music. Even classic nursery rhymes and songs can help a childÛªs development of rhythm, rhyming and melody.
ÛÏIf you start exposing them at a young age they will gain an appreciation for the music while learning,Û said Degler. ÛÏItÛªs linking verbalization skills, word skills, thoughts and ideas to music and learning how to recognize hymns and melodies, itÛªs a wonderful process.Û
Keeping music education in schools is thought, by experts, to be a vital component of a well-rounded education.
ÛÏThe arts can no longer be treated as a frill,Û U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan's remarked at the Arts Education Partnership National Forum. ÛÏThe truth is that, in the information age, a well-rounded curriculum is not a luxury but a necessity.Û
Denying children music denies them multiple benefits, said Degler. ÛÏNot just educationally, but pleasurable benefits too,Û he said.
ÛÏIf you think about it, you get home from a stressful day, you might turn on some music,Û said Degler. Whether Broadway tunes, classical interludes or contemporary worship music, it can all help energize your brain, rejuvenating your spirit.
So yes, introduce your children to music, said Degler. ÛÏEven a simple beat, there are so many ways of being creative and each person being different, music can be appreciated by everybody.Û
Another aspect of music that adds to its significance is that it can tell a story. The pace of the music, the crescendos and instruments used in a piece can draw a person to tears, laughter, enthusiasm or even increase anticipation.
ÛÏThere is such an incredible emotional attachment to music,Û said Degler, who added that when music is paired with a visual message, it can be a very powerful piece of communication.
ÛÏThink of the silent films,Û he said. No words were needed because the music was paired with a visual to tell a story.
ÛÏWhen you listen to the National Anthem, just the power of that piece and when you combine that with pictures, of a war scene or heroes, the suffering, now we have tied a powerful emotion with a thought, a visual perception, itÛªs an incredible way to communicate,Û Degler said.
The bottom line? Without music, the world would be a lonely place, lacking some of the emotional impact and comfort that only music can provide. And if music can impact your childÛªs education, then all the more reason to start playing the tunes, now.
Sources: www.whitehouse.gov; www.ed.gov; Frank Degler, Lighthouse Music Production Studios, a music prodigy at age three, Degler became an accomplished and versatile musician playing eleven instruments. He continues to develop music education curriculum and provide selective private music lessons and finishing performance training for music professionals.
Budget-friendly ways to bring music into your childÛªs life
Û¢ Attend free outdoor concerts
Û¢ Check out your townÛªs local symphony
Û¢ Enjoy the local high schoolÛªs musical productions
Û¢ Borrow classical CDÛªs from the library
Û¢ Encourage your child to actively participate in school-related music opportunities
Û¢ Pick up a toy instrument at a garage sale and let your child explore the sounds it can make
Û¢ Support your childÛªs interest in music, cheering him/her along the way