At the end of last weeks e-zine (Split Test Marketing and the Teenage Mind), we asked whether you preferred to "feel something" or "learn something." The results were interesting with roughly 55% of you choosing "to feel" with the remaining 45% choosing "to learn."
But why can't we have both?
Several recent studies have correlated experiencing emotion while learning to deeper levels of learning. Specifically, Frank Thissen, a German a Intercultural Communication professor, stated that while negative emotions tend to make us clearly remember data including the minutest detail, positive emotions tend to help us remember more complex things. In short, feeling good helps to create learning, which is one of the many reasons music education is so important to our nation's schools.
It's not just the "what" we teach, but the "how" we teach it... With JOY. Sometimes in an effort to create great art, we sometimes forget the joy. Yes, our curricula and literature should be challenging and rigorous, but still joyful, for when the two occur simultaneously, true learning is taking place. The joy is part of the reason;
- Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons.
- Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.
- Secondary students who participated in a music group at school reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (tobacco, alcohol, and drugs).
- Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate and 93.9% attendance rate compared to schools without music education, which average 72.9% graduation and 84.9% attendance.
- Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students (3rd graders) who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests.
- A Stanford study shows that music engages areas of the brain which are involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating events in our memory.
- Children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory over the course of a year, compared to those who do not receive musical training.
- Schools that have music programs have an attendance rate of 93.3% compared to 84.9% in schools without music programs.
source donors choose.org
These are but a few of the examples as to why music matters. It as much about the "how" we teach as it is the "what" we teach. It is about "feeling" AND "learning." It is about feeding the mind and the heart simultaneously to teach the WHOLE child.
Yes, the statistics above were meant to assuage those who chose to "learn" while affirming those who chose to "feel."
See, learning can make you feel good.