How Music Builds Better Student Brains

flickr photo by Philippe Put shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

flickr photo by Philippe Put shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Over at Global Digital Citizen Foundation, you’ll find a nice piece on music in schools. Inspired by the Listen Magazine piece “Does Music Make You Smarter?”Ross Crockett quoted:

“Music should be recognized as an end in itself, not a means to some other end. ‘Studies show slight gains in IQ,’ he observes, ‘so there is mounting evidence that music training has some kind of cognitive benefit. But nobody tries to justify math lessons because they make your poetry skills better.’” (Colin Eatock)

Crockett explains:

“Music, when talking in terms of education, should be recognized as the enriching and noble pursuit that it is, as opposed to being a supplemental activity for keeping an idle brain active. So when we say that music helps build better student brains, we are in effect diminishing its importance, making it subordinate to other skills simply because it supports those skills.”

He continues with an insightful and personal look at what music did for him:

I play a musical instrument (saxophone). What did it do for me?

  1. It boosted my confidence. “Hey, I can do something pretty much unique. I can play an instrument that not many others can do.”
  2. I became obsessed with perfection, to the point of practicing passages ad nauseum to the annoyance of my roommates, family, wife, and children. The horn had to be just right—the adjustment, the spring tensions perfect, and how the keys felt in my hands.
  3. Problem solving was a big thing. Why can’t I get this particular passage to sound right? Breathing? Finger technique? Is it a mechanical flaw in the instrument?” Read more here

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