The two young men profiled in this story are in Lucas County’s Youth Treatment Center for committing felonies, but members of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra are using music to help them and other kids turn their lives around.
Reporter Brigette Burnett says, “It’s not about playing the guitar or singing or playing the drums...what’s most important is...that they’re coming up with another outlet for frustration and anger while doing something productive.”
There's more good news about the benefits of music education.
A multi-decade study of more than 31,000 Florida middle school students found that those who took elective music classes - or studied the arts in another form - earned much higher grade point averages and higher scores on standardized reading and math tests.
For years, researchers have wondered if music makes kids smarter or if smarter kids just happen to opt for music education more often. According to an article on the Pacific Standard website, the authors of this study followed “a large group of low-income students from kindergarten through eighth grade. That allowed the researchers to create a baseline level of each youngster's academic accomplishments, and determine if arts classes boosted their achievement level.”
And it turns out they did!
The research found that students exposed to music and other arts-related classes not only achieved higher grades, but were less likely to be suspended from school, compared to kids who were not active in music or another art.
The study's authors concluded that "we need to protect and enhance" access to arts education because of its many benefits, including a positive impact on brain development, creativity and teamwork skills.
(Inspired by an article at Pacific Standard.)
"Exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception."
That's the finding of researchers at the University of Southern California's Brain and Creativity Institute. Their two-year study followed 37 six and seven-year-old children from an underprivileged Los Angeles neighborhood.
Roughly one-third of the children participated in the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles program, practicing music for an average of one hour per day.
One-third of the kids played in a soccer league, and another third didn't take part in any training at all.
After analyzing the electrical activity in the brains of all the children and conducting additional tests, researchers concluded that the auditory systems of the young music students had accelerated faster than those who did not play music.
According to the study's authors, music stimulates the auditory system, which also helps with sound processing in a general sense. That stimulation encourages the development of reading skills, language development and successful communication.
(Inspired by an article at Music Education Works.)