The Effects of Music on Learning

September 28, 2021 by No Comments

Music is powerful. It can play a significant part in our lives contributing to positive academic, social, and emotional achievements. Using music in and outside of the classroom has been shown to positively influence children’s abilities to process literature and mathematical concepts when used appropriately. Use music as a supplement to instruction, but do not rely on it for the purpose of boosting intelligence. Integrating musical experiences can create excitement for learning with the added bonus of supporting the advancement of developmental milestones.

Math Skills reading fluency strategies
Children who take piano lessons have been found to display a strong grasp on concepts involving fractional numbers, ratios, proportions, and problem solving. Piano training has also been linked to the improved ability to identify patterns in mathematical equations and when using math manipulatives to express calculations.

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The number of beats that each individual note receives requires using proportional thinking. This thought process is a significant milestone in a child’s development and is a critical component for reaching proficiency in mathematics. Proportional thinking involves comparing numbers and manipulating variables to gain a specific outcome.

Incorporating rhythm activities in the regular classroom supports learning the essentials of math. Fractions and multiplication skills are important foundations for more complex calculations. Understanding and applying note values contributes to learning how to correctly compute fractional numbers.

Spatial Reasoning
Spatial intelligence involves the ability to transform mental images into a concrete idea. Children who continually work to improve their musical skills have proven that they possess advanced spatial reasoning. These kids are able to visualize information and put meaning behind concepts that are more abstract. Students with strong spatial abilities identify similarities and differences in physical and intangible objects.

Social Skills
Being a part of a musical group supports the development of age-appropriate social skills. Kids learn to work cooperatively and communicate effectively with each other and their instructor. Constructive feedback is essential when perfecting musical performances. The ability to process positive and negative feedback supports kids to gain confidence and determination. Children also thrive when a musical presentation is performed well with encouraging responses.

Music Lessons
Supporting kids to learn how to play a musical instrument or in taking voice lessons has a positive effect on their academic work. Children who take music lessons have been found to grasp mathematical and sciences concepts with more ease than students who are not involved in advancing their musical talents. Learning to play the piano supports improved physical coordination and mental focus. Problem solving skills are increased. Children with developing musical skills tend to have stronger abstract thinking skills. Abstract thinking is the most complex form of thought that is required for drawing conclusions and adapting to situations.

Children who take voice lessons develop excellent pitch discrimination. This, in turn, has been found to support children in cultivating phonemic awareness. There is a clear connection between identifying musical sounds and applying letter sounds correctly while reading.

Background Music
Reliable research-based information is not totally conclusive about using background music in the classroom to enhance learning. However, using music during instruction could be used more as a classroom management tool. Differentiating instruction keeps students engaged; thereby reducing the amount of time the instructor spends on discipline. People traditionally think that a classroom needs to be quiet for the most efficient learning to take place. In some cases, the quiet is actually distracting. Students may be drawn to other actions or sound in the classroom if everything is quiet. Some soothing background noise can help cover environmental noise that causes distractions.

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