Students schooled in music make rock star learners. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is an educational initiative in the United States to ensure that students leave school with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in college and in their careers. With the implementation of the Common Core Standards, school districts have shifted thinking. The need for synthesis and deeper thinking is essential for students to score well on tests.
Fortunately for schools that have solid music programs, these standards hit hard every day when students learn music.
Music fosters reasoning skills
Music education strengthens students’ ability to reason. When asked to listen to a piece of music or to study the theory of note progression, the students are actually synthesizing information—a skill deeply embedded in the Common Core Standards.
Ability to think outside the box
While there are patterns in music, they are all inspired by creativity. When students take the time to analyze a piece of music, they are able to step outside of the box and draw genuine conclusions on their own. They are forced to examine how notes and patterns are combined and how differences compliment each other. They are then forced to examine how many different instruments, following many different paths, can come into unison to create a final product. It’s an eye opening experience that fosters creativity.
Increased spatial intelligence
Spatial intelligence is a person’s ability to become a visual thinker. Studies have shown that when students break down and synthesize how a piece of music is composed, their ability for spatial intelligence drastically increases because they begin to envision where the piece is going as it is being played. Spatial intelligence is a key factor in strengthening mathematic reasoning ability; therefore, it is crucial in education, especially in a time of high stake math testing. Strong musicians make strong mathematicians.
High stakes testing has created a generation of students who are constantly looking for a black and white solution to a problem. Since music is nothing but creative risk, it broadens these black and white boundaries and shows kids how beautiful an academic risk can look in practice.
Higher test scores
Studies have proven that kids who are exposed to high quality music education programs score approximately 20 percent higher on standardized tests. Findings link an increase in verbal recall to students who have a strong musical background. This can most likely be attributed to the work the brain subconsciously does when it’s creating music; it exercises the ability to memorize patterns of music and lyrics.
In conclusion, music education is a valuable course for students of all grade levels. Music has the ability to foster social, emotional, and educational development of students and is a priceless asset to any school.