The growing academic achievement gap observed in academic institutions in the United States has prompted numerous research studies conducted to find ways and means to improve the academic performance of school-aged children in the country. Based on such studies conducted, it has been determined that the incorporation of music education as part of the curriculum used among pre-school, elementary and high school students can help improve the level of academic performance observed in these levels.
As such, there are now a number of different websites found over the Internet promoting this method of teaching school-aged children of various levels. However, there are still a number of groups that remain skeptical about its effectiveness. This paper aims to provide information proving that the incorporation of music education to school curricula of different levels result to an improvement of the academic performance of school-aged children.
Apart from providing the numerous benefits advocated by different websites supporting this, this paper would look into studies published in academic journals available in Internet databases proving its effectiveness, the claims provided by skeptics that have caused them to conclude that there is no relationship between the use of music education and the improvement of the academic performance of school-aged children would also be presented.
Music Education and Academic Performance As previously mentioned, there are a numerous Internet websites now advocating the use of music education as a means to improve the academic performance of school-aged children of different levels. This is because research studies have shown positive and promising results particularly among children with special needs such as those with autism and those that have been considered as children at-risk.
In one study, the researcher found that the incorporation of music education in the classroom led to the creation of an environment where children with autism become more successful academically since they determined that students with autism are able to respond more efficiently with the use of music stimuli (Darrow 2009). In another study, it was determined that through the incorporation of music education, members of the faculty and administration have seen that there has been a decline in the number of students dropping out of school as compared to those that did not utilize these programs.
In fact, they found that 93% of students dropping out are those that are not included in any music education program (Olson 2008). Internet websites that promote the incorporation of music education as a way to provide school-aged children the ability to develop and enhance various skills which have been considered as essential for the success of school-aged children not just in school but also within the corporate world. Some of these skills include mathematics, creativity and communication skills.
It was also determined that through the use of music education as a part of the curriculum of school-aged children allow them to develop traits and personalities that would make them productive members of society. These include developing a sense of self-discipline, less prone to outbursts of rage and anger and substance dependency. These claims presented in these Internet websites are supported by various research studies released by such institutions such as the U. S. Department of Education and the College Board of New York (Children’s Music Workshop 2006; Zhang 2007).
While this may be the case, other Internet websites have been found to refute such claims and benefits. One of which is a website that features the study presented to the Australian Association for Research in Education entitled No Evidence for a Mozart Effect in School Aged Children. In this study, the researchers have stipulated that while there have been numerous studies claiming that the use of classical music and other methods of incorporating music education in school curriculum have caused an improvement in the academic performance in some academic institutions, this does not happen each and every single instance.
This is due to the fact that other factors such as the cultural of the academic institution and the quality of the teachers facilitating the education of the students play a major role in the overall academic performance of school-aged children (Crncec, Wilson & Prior 2002). In another Internet website, it was stated that while music education does help most school-aged children with special needs, this does not encompass all children with special needs. To be specific, children with auditory disorders such as auditory process disorder, or APD, are unable to comprehend sound elements.
As a result, the incorporation of music education to the curriculum of school-aged children would only be unbeneficial for these children. In fact, it may even cause these children to exhibit the very issues that Internet websites promoting the use of music education are able to address (Nikolaidou, Iliadou, Kaprinis, Hadjileontiadis & Kaprinis 2009). Conclusion The incorporation of music education in school curriculum has, in no doubt, been able to help in the improvement of the academic performance of school-aged children in different levels.
The promising results presented by research studies conducted have been found to be consistent when these principles have been applied by various academic institutions, particularly pre-school and elementary schools. As a result, the incorporation of music education has now been endorsed by various local and government organizations involved in the improvement of the overall academic performance of academic institutions in the country.
While there are limitations to how much of an improvement may be observed in one academic institution as presented earlier, the consistency observed on the contribution music education to the overall academic performance continuous to make a viable method to be used in schools throughout the country.
References Children’s Music Workshop. (2006). Music education online. Retrieved from http://www. childrensmusicworkshop. com/advocacy/benefits. html. Crncec, R. J. , Wilson, S. J. & Prior, M. (2002, December).
No evidence for a Mozart effect in school aged children. Retrieved from http://www. aare. edu. au/02pap/crn02420. htm. Darrow, A. (2009). Adapting for students with autism. General music today, 22(2), 24-26. doi: 10. 1177/1048371308328384. Nikolaidou, G. N. , Iliadou, V. T. , Kaprinis, S. G. , Hadjileontiadis, L. J. & Kaprinis, G. S. (2009). Primary school music education and the effect of auditory processing disorders: pedagogical/ICT-based implications.
Retrieved from the IEEE Xplore Web site: http://ieeexplore. ieee. org/Xplore/login. jsp? url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore. ieee. org %2Fiel5%2F4561602%2F4561603%2F04561902. pdf%3Farnumber%3D4561902&a uthDecision=-203. Olson, C. A. (2008). Can music education help at-risk students? Study finds positive testimony substantial but quantitative research lacking. Teaching music, 16(3), 20. Retrieved from ERIC database (10697446, 20081101). Zhang, L. (2007, March). Benefits of music education for your child. Retrieved from http://www. articlesbase. com/education-articles/benefits-of-music-education-for-your- child-124538. html.