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AssessingElementaryMusic

MitchRand
Musicisapartofeveryonesliveswhethertheyhearitonacommercial,listentoitall
day,orperform!Fromwhenwearetoddlerstothedaywediemusicaffectsourmoodand
personality.Yetinsomeelementaryschoolsmusicisbeingtakenoutaltogether.Musicata
youngageplaysanimportantpartinayoungchildsdevelopment.Musiceducationatayoung
agecanhelpwithothersubjects,helpwithlanguagedevelopment,andprovideanexposureto
theartsthattheycouldntgetathome(Anderson,2014Johnson,2005).
Musiccanbeaveryimportantandvitalingredientinthegrowthofachildsbrain.Laura
BrownofPBS.orgstatesthatChildrencomeintotheworldreadytodecodesoundsandwords,
Musicenhancesthoseabilities.(Brown,Year).Bythisshemeansthatmusiccanhelpinbeing
abletounderstandlanguageandcommunicationatadeeperlevel.ShealsostatesStudies
haveclearlyindicatedthatmusicaltrainingphysicallydevelopsthepartoftheleftsideofthe
brainknowntobeinvolvedwithprocessinglanguage,andcanactuallywirethebrainscircuits
inspecificways.(Brown,year).ThiscanimprovegradesinEnglishandalsohelp
understandingsocialcues,whichhelpsinbeingabletocommunicatewithothersandmake
friends.Thisalsoshowsthatmusichasanimpactonthebrainandspecificallytheleftsideof
thebrainthatprocesseslanguage.Musicinvolvedintheclassroomcanhelpimproveayoung
childsmind.
Likemusiccanhelpinlanguagedevelopmentitalsohelpsallaroundinmanyother
subjects.FranSmithofEdutopia.orgreportsthatInvolvementintheartsisassociatedwith
gainsinmath,reading,cognitiveability,criticalthinking,andverbalskill.(Reference,year,p.
17).ShegoesontoexplainthatMusicEducationinayoungchildslifelevelstheplayingfield
betweenachildwhocomesfromafamilywhoisfinanciallyhavingtrouble,toafamilythatis

financiallywealthy.Masterseducation.comreportsthatChildrenexposedtomusiceducation
performbetteronreadingteststhanpeerswhodidntenjoythebenefitsofmusiceducation.
(citation,year,pg).Ifmusiccanhelpchildrenwithreadingimaginetheotherbenefitsitwilladd
toayoungchildslife?Musichelpsdevelopspatialintelligencewhichallowsstudentsto
visualizehowelementsfittogether,whichisrequiredinsolvingmathproblems.Therearenot
onlybenefitsinreadingbutalsomath!Butwhatisspatialintelligenceandwhyisitsoimportant
inayoungchildsmind?SpatialIntelligenceisdefinedasanareainthetheoryofmultiple
intelligencesthatdealswithspatialjudgmentandtheabilitytovisualizewiththemind'seye.
Onecanseehowthisisveryimportantnotonlyformathbutothersubjectslikescienceandon
dailyoccurrenceswhereachildshouldhavetosolveaproblemordoataskthatrequires
thinking.NAFME(Nationalassociationformusiceducators)saysthatmusicinayoungchilds
lifecanhelpimprovetheirmemorydrastically(citation,year).Memorizationisaskillthatwill
helpformanytestsandbeanimportanttraitintheirlife.Overallitisclearthatmusicin
elementaryschoolshelpsinmanyaspectsinthechildsgrowthandineverysubject.
Alotofinnercitykidsdontevenhaveaccesstomusic.Theygrowupinahousehold
withnomusicaroundthemanddonthaveacreativeoutlet.TheAtlantic.comreportsthat
Preliminaryresultssuggestthatnotonlydoesschoolandcommunitybasedmusicinstruction
indeedhaveanimpactonbrainfunctioning,butthatitcouldpossiblymakeasignificant
differenceintheacademictrajectoryoflowerincomekids.(citation,year).Lowerincomekids
whoarenotexposedtomusicathomebenefitthemostfrommusicinschools(citation).Music
inschoolsprovidesthemwithacreativeoutlet,closestheachievementgap,andhelpswithall
oftheirothersubjects.Forsomekidsitcanevenprovidethemwithahobbythatkeepsthemoff
thestreets.Theatlantic.comalsofoundthatexposuretoclassicalmusichelpsthebrainworks
betterincludingconcentration,andspatialreasoning.Thiscanalsogreatlyhelpinnercitykids

andclosetheachievementgap.Althoughthesekidsareusuallyatschoolswithless
advantagedmusicprograms.Whichiswhyallschoolsshouldberequiredtoprovidemusic
education.
Inconclusionmusiceducationhelpskidsinothersubjects,helpwithlanguage
developmentskills,andalsohelpkidsbeexposedtoaculturethattheymightnototherwisebe
exposedto.Whichiswhyitshouldbeincludedinallelementaryschools.

Ifmusicisbeingcutfromschools,teachersdonthavetodespair,theycanstillchooseto
includeitintheirownindividualizecurriculums.Forexample,akindergartenteachercanusethe
alphabetsongtohelpherstudentslearnbasicsoundsandmemorizethelettersofthealphabet.