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Benefits of Music Essay Bree Hohnbaum Instructor: Bonne Saleweski Music 233: Music Methods Friday, 11:00am-12:45pm, Spring 2012
Benefits of Music 2 Benefits of Music Essay Music is everywhere: in every culture, country and society. Music has been around since the dawn of time. Music is one of the most important things in life. Music can help someone get through a rough time or spill out their feelings. Music can heal; music can hurt. There are many things music can be used for and infinite places it can be used, but what makes music beneficial? Is there a little something extra that music can give us? Why is music being taught in schools and why are some schools ripping it from the curriculum? In the following essay, I will begin to explore the benefits of music. Music has helped me get through rough times, happy times and times that I was in need of healing. Music has been beneficial to me in more ways than I could list. The one memory that sticks out in my mind was when I was in the 10th grade, or sophomore year in high school. I was taking Spanish, which was a hard topic for me to get a grasp on. My teacher, whose name was “Señora Incelli”, thought that it would be a great way to remember all of the countries that are Spanish speaking and their capitals by listening to and learning a song. She played the song once, while we were all to be quiet and listen, and then a second time when we were allowed to join in, if we thought we could sing along. She continued to play this song once a day until we were tested on the Spanish speaking countries and their capitals. It was quite a humorous class for as I was taking it, I could hear faint sounds of people humming or singing the song to their selves as they wrote down their answers. The song did work and all of us received B’s or better on that portion of the test. That song still sticks with me to this day, and I still know every word. I plan on using something like this in my own classroom. Using songs to learn important information will help retain the information in memory. “Music, as a temporal art, challenges the mind to recognize patterns across time, a skill that often needs to be developed in children with patterning and memory deficits” (Campbell, 2006). This quote confirms that music can help improve memory. Students who have challenges with memory can
Benefits of Music 3 listen to music and pick out the patterns. This can help us move toward an era of inclusion, so that no child is left out. Students who wish to entrap some important piece of information into their memory can benefit from listening to music. Memorizing facts, like in history, where there are many dates and people to remember, can be enhanced with music. “School House Rock” is a tool for doing this. There are many songs about the states, constitution and even grammar. I will show “School House Rock” to my students when I teach my own class. “Music instruction can enhance the ability to learn a foreign language, and there is a correlation between success in learning music and success in learning a foreign language” (Tupman, 2007). This quote directly relates to my story and proves that the song I learned really did help me learn the foreign language. I would like to use this in my own classroom, someday, for those students who are new to the English language or who are in ESL (English as a Second Language). This could help them to transition into the school setting better and some students may even want to help them learn, which benefits to the socialization process of the students. “Music-making provides a sense of belonging and communality” (Pellengrino, 2011). This statement says that music can make students/people feel welcome. Upon entering a new class year, with new students, this may be something to think about. A song or dance may be appropriate to make the students feel welcome and more outgoing upon first entering the classroom. Music makes people come together in a way that nothing else can. Music can make people feel as though they belong even when they do not speak the same language. Music is also something that everyone has in common, no matter the type. Music is universal and even if someone does not speak the same language, they can still get the basic meaning of the song. “In the classroom, music-making captured students’ interest and attention and served as a tool for proactive classroom management and inspiring students. Music-making became a way for
Benefits of Music 4 participants to share what they loved and influence the next generation of music-makers” (Pellengrino, 2011). This quote is talking about the results of the study done by Pellengrino (2011). Music-making is a way for people to let out their feelings and express emotions that they never knew they could. Some people who are totally shut down can show how they feel through expressive music and dance. Music can also grab students’ attention for it gives them a melody to listen to, rather than just a lecture. Sometimes teachers talk in a monotone voice, making students lost attention or shut down. I would also like to use this method in my future classroom. I would like to get the students who are shy to come together in a musical song so that all will feel welcome and loved. I may also opt for an interpretive dance session at this time, as well. “Students who received classical-music listening instruction achieved higher grades in reading” (Tupman, 2007). Classical music can enhance students’ grades; this is quite a profound statement. This quote may be the best quote to back up the fact that music is beneficial. If students can receive higher grades in reading and improve their overall academic standpoint just by listening to classical music, the limits are then endless for music. “All children learn to read better by learning to read music, and music instruction can improve reading-readiness skills such as recognizing letters of the alphabet for slow learners” (Tupman, 2007). If all children learn to read more efficiently by listening to music, I will implement this into my own classroom. I might have classical music playing as students finish work or while the students have “free-time”. Young children should be exposed to music as soon as possible so that they may start comprehending and reading as soon as possible. I have stated many facts to prove my statement that music is beneficial. All of the quotes that I have used have actual research to back them all up. Since this is true, music can: help students learn to read better, help slower learners recognize the alphabet, enhance the ability to learn a foreign language, improve memory, inspire students, improve students’ reading grades and provide a sense of belonging.
Benefits of Music 5 These are just a few of the many things music can do for us. Music is a very important subject in the school’s curriculum. When I hear about schools cutting out music from the curriculum completely, it makes me very sad. If music is so beneficial, why are schools cutting this out? Music should be in every school and students should be learning and practicing music throughout their whole life. Music is very beneficial; we all just need to band together to show the world this.
Benefits of Music 6 References Campbell, Patricia Shehan., and Carol Scott-Kassner. Music in Childhood: From Preschool through the Elementary Grades. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Thomson Schirmer, 2006. Print.
Pellengrino, Kristin. "Exploring the Benefits of Music-Making as Professional Development for Music Teachers." Arts Education Policy Review 112 (2011): 79-88. Print.
Tupman, Dennis F. "Research Confirms the Added Value of Music Study." Canadian Winds(2007). Print.
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