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Benefits of Music

 

 

 

 

Here’s information about the Benefits of Music (From the MTNA Website).

Did you know…?

The so-called “Mozart Effect” was an exaggeration:  http://qz.com/628331/the-idea-that-mozart-makes-babies-smarter-is-one-of-parentings-most-bizarre-myths/   New research debunks the “Mozart Effect”.

The pace of scientific research into music making has never been greater. New data about music’s relationship to brainpower, wellness and other phenomena is changing the way we perceive mankind’s oldest art form, and it’s having a real-world effect on decisions about educational priorities.

The briefs below provide a glimpse into these exciting developments. For a more in-depth treatment of current music science, visit our affiliate, The International Foundation for Music Research.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/07/using-the-arts-to-promote-healthy-aging/?ref=health

Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts.

Source: University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent

Students who were exposed to the music-based lessons scored a full 100 percent higher on fractions tests than those who learned in the conventional manner. Second-grade and third-grade students were taught fractions in an untraditional manner ‹ by teaching them basic music rhythm notation. The group was taught about the relationships between eighth, quarter, half and whole notes. Their peers received traditional fraction instruction.

Source: Neurological Research, March 15, 1999

Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66 percent of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. For comparison, (44 percent) of biochemistry majors were admitted. Also, a study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math.

Sources: “The Comparative Academic Abilities of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University,” Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480

“The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan, February, 1994

Music study can help kids understand advanced music concepts. A grasp of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to math at higher levels, and children who do not master these areas cannot understand more advanced math critical to high-tech fields. Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. Second-grade students were given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time using newly designed math software. The group scored over 27 percent higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who used only the math software.

Source: Neurological Research March, 1999

Research shows that piano students are better equipped to comprehend mathematical and scientific concepts. A group of preschoolers received private piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received private computer lessons. Those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34 percent higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others ‹ even those who received computer training. “Spatial-temporal” is basically proportional reasoning – ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. This concept has long been considered a major obstacle in the teaching of elementary math and science.

Source: Neurological Research February 28, 1997

Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically in early school years. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation.
Source: “The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children,” University of Central Florida, Debby Mitchell

High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts.

Source: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001.

College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts. A study conducted at the University of Texas looked at 362 students who were in their first semester of college. They were given three tests, measuring performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol related problems. In addition to having fewer battles with the bottle, researchers also noted that the college-aged music students seemed to have surer footing when facing tests.

Source: Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

A ten-year study, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement. The test scores studied were not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also in reading proficiency exams.

Source: Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997

The world’s top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States’ focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology.

Source: 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test

Music training helps under-achievers. In Rhode Island, researchers studied eight public school first grade classes. Half of the classes became “test arts” groups, receiving ongoing music and visual arts training. In kindergarten, this group had lagged behind in scholastic performance. After seven months, the students were given a standardized test. The “test arts” group had caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22 percent. In the second year of the project, the arts students widened this margin even further. Students were also evaluated on attitude and behavior. Classroom teachers noted improvement in these areas also.

Source: Nature May 23, 1996

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/09/10/343681493/this-is-your-brain-this-is-your-brain-on-music?sc=17&f=1001&utm_source=iosnewsapp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=app

Music Therapy and Dementia (From the Alzheimer’s Foundation Website)

Education and Care

Music

Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late stages of the disease.

When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function, and coordinate motor movements.

This happens because rhythmic and other well-rehearsed responses require little to no cognitive or mental processing. They are influenced by the motor center of the brain that responds directly to auditory rhythmic cues. A person’s ability to engage in music, particularly rhythm playing and singing, remains intact late into the disease process because, again, these activities do not mandate cognitive functioning for success.

Music Associations. Most people associate music with important events and a wide array of emotions. The connection can be so strong that hearing a tune long after the occurrence evokes a memory of it.

Prior experience with the piece is the greatest indicator of an individual’s likely response. A melody that is soothing for one person may remind another of the loss of a loved one and be tragically sad.

If the links with the music are unknown, it is difficult to predict an individual’s response. Therefore, observe a person’s reaction to a particular arrangement and discontinue it if it evokes distress, such as agitation, facial grimaces or increasing muscular tension.

Top Ten Picks. Selections from the individual’s young adult years—ages 18 to 25—are most likely to have the strongest responses and the most potential for engagement.

Unfamiliar music can also be beneficial because it carries no memories or emotions. This may be the best choice when developing new responses, such as physical relaxation designed to manage stress or enhance sleep.

As individuals progress into late-stage dementia, music from their childhood, such as folk songs, work well. Singing these songs in the language in which they were learned sparks the greatest involvement.

Sound of Music. Typically, “stimulative music” activates, while “sedative music” quiets. Stimulative music, with percussive sounds and fairly quick tempos, tends to naturally promote movement, such as toe taps. Look to dance tunes of any era for examples. Slightly stimulative music can assist with activities of daily living: for example, at mealtime to rouse individuals who tend to fall asleep at the table or during bathing to facilitate movement from one room to another.

On the other hand, the characteristics of sedative music—ballads and lullabies—include unaccented beats, no syncopation, slow tempos, and little percussive sound. This is the best choice when preparing for bed or any change in routine that might cause agitation.

Responses that are opposite of those expected can occur and are likely due to a person’s specific associations with the piece or style of music.

Agitation Management. Non-verbal individuals in late dementia often become agitated out of frustration and sensory overload from the inability to process environmental stimuli. Engaging them in singing, rhythm playing, dancing, physical exercise, and other structured music activities can diffuse this behavior and redirect their attention.

For best outcomes, carefully observe an individual’s patterns in order to use music therapies just prior to the time of day when disruptive behaviors usually occur.

Emotional Closeness. As dementia progresses, individuals typically lose the ability to share thoughts and gestures of affection with their loved ones. However, they retain their ability to move with the beat until very late in the disease process.

Ambulatory individuals can be easily directed to couple dance, which may evoke hugs, kisses or caresses; those who are no longer walking can follow cues to rhythmically swing their arms. They often allow gentle rocking or patting in beat to the music and may reciprocate with affection.

An alternative to moving or touching is singing, which is associated with safety and security from early life. Any reciprocal engagement provides an opportunity for caregivers and care receivers to connect with one another, even when the disease has deprived them of traditional forms of closeness.

How-to of music therapy:

Early stage—

Go out dancing or dance in the house.

Listen to music that the person liked in the past—whether swing or Sinatra or salsa. Recognize that perceptual changes can alter the way individuals with dementia hear music. If they say it sounds horrible, turn it off; it may to them.

Experiment with various types of concerts and venues, giving consideration to endurance and temperament.

Encourage an individual who played an instrument to try it again.

Compile a musical history of favorite recordings, which can be used to help in reminiscence and memory recall.
Early and middle stages—

Use song sheets or a karaokeplayer so the individual can sing along with old-time favorites.
Middle stage—

Play music or sing as the individual is walking to improve balance or gait.

Use background music to enhance mood.

Opt for relaxing music—a familiar, non-rhythmic song—to reduce sundowning, or behavior problems at nighttime.
Late stage—

Utilize the music collection of old favorites that you made earlier.

Do sing-alongs, with “When the Saints Go Marching In” or other tunes sung by rote in that person’s generation.

Play soothing music to provide a sense of comfort.

Exercise to music.

Do drumming or other rhythm-based activities.

Use facial expressions to communicate feelings when involved in these activities.
Contributed by Alicia Ann Clair, Ph.D., MT-BC, professor and director of the Division of Music Education and Music at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. “How-to” section contributed by Concetta M. Tomaino, DA, MT-BC, vice president for music therapy and director of the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function at Beth Abraham Family of Health Services, Bronx, NY.

For more information, connect with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s licensed social workers. Click here or call 866.232.8484. Real People. Real Care.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/a-musical-fix-for-american-schools-1412954652?mod=trending_now_3

 

An example of how music cannot be pushed, but rather nurtured in a child’s life:

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Music Game/Theory/History/Listening Websites

www.musiclearningcommunity.com
This website contains hundreds of learning games of varying levels, all carefully planned to gain mastery of the elements of music theory, ear training and rhythmic skills in an exciting, challenging environment.

http://pianoeducation.org/pnokids.html
This site is just for kids—to talk to other kids about piano, listen to the Taz-man, jump to other cool places, time travel to meet a famous composer or pianist, get a great tip to help withlessons, get help with writing piano or music reports or even ask aquestion!

www.yellowcatpublishing.com
The Yellow Cat piano program offers students the opportunity to excel at the piano. Its learning methods enable students to learn quickly and to achieve higher levels of success than the standard music program.

http://www.funbrain.com/
Funbrain offers games on composers, instruments, reading and vocabulary.

www.datadragon.com
Learning about and listening to different instruments, reading music, musical genres and links to additional sites are the features of this site.

http://www.teoria.com/
This is a great site for music theory.

http://www.uptoten.org/
This site is just what it says. You also can use this site to search for more related sites.

http://www.atozkidsstuff.com/
“Name That Tune,” a link to the American Symphony Orchestra League, Instruments, lesson plans and games all can be found on this website.

www.boowakwala.com
This site offers ninety-nine additional sites for music and learning.

www.homeworkspot.com/theme/classicalmusic.htm
This site offers many links to quality classical music sites.

http://www.tritonemusic.com/
Features online, interactive piano lessons that can be used in conjunction with traditional piano lessons.

http://www.musictheory.net/
Includes quality theory tutorials, and interactive identification and ear training drills in note reading, key signatures, intervals and triads.

musictheory.halifax.ns.ca/lessons.html
This site contains 26 free music theory lessons (which include some audio examples) and printable quizzes.

www.quia.com/web
Students can test their music knowledge with quizzes, matches, concentration card games and other activities.

www.creatingmusic.com
Elementary-age students can enjoy exploring, creating and manipulating music.

pbskids.org/chuck/index.html#/jazz
Elementary students can enjoy playing with an interactive Improvisation Station.

www.anvilstudio.com
Enable students to compose from a MIDI keyboard and add voice-overs or other audio recorded through a microphone.

http://www.smartmusic.com/
Access online accompaniments that function as virtual accompanists.

http://www.easymusictheory.com/
This site is devoted to ear training and theory skills.

http://www.good-ear.com/
This site offers ear training and theory skills.

http://www.MakingMusicFun.net
This site contains lots of free music resources for elementary music classroom teachers, private music instructors and homeschool parents, for the purpose of building kids up in positive ways and enriching their lives with an appreciation for music and learning.

http://www.happynote.com/en/music-notes.html
Happy Note! music games (shareware and freeware) are both amusing and educational. They offer a way to learn to read music notes in treble clef and bass clef the fun way.

www.foriero.com
A music educational portal designed especially for kids and music beginners. Primarily focusing on the piano basics, they produce games to learn music easily with fun.

www.kidsclick.org
KidsClick! is a web search site designed for kids by librarians—with kid-friendly results! The site includes links to kid-friendly websites about music and music history.

This little guy likes to visit sometimes.

This little guy likes to visit sometimes.