The Benefits of Music Education to Children

IntroductionMusic is a very powerful subject – It has been used since the Greek times for healing, communication, relaxation and for enjoyment. Even before birth we are aware of our mother’s heartbeat and during infancy are relaxed by the song of a lullaby. Every day everybody hears some form of musical pitch or rhythm and it can even be found in nature such as how birds communicate through a song-like speech.Music is such a powerful force, it creates deep emotions in humans – it is played at weddings for happiness, in horror films and during war for fear and at home for happiness and because of this lends itself to relaxation, stress relief and health therapy – and the connection between music, body, and soul has even been shown to improve physical and mental health.Skills such as working in teams, communication, self-esteem, creative thinking, calmer attitudes, imagination, discipline, study skills and invention are learnt and improved through the study of music and by focusing on the fact that young children are mostly highly receptive to pitch and rhythm – one of the main ways a child learns its language – that we can drive education in music to children to help them with benefits ranging success in society and in life.”We believe the skills the arts teach -creative thinking, problem-solving, risk-taking, teamwork and communications – are precisely the tools the workforce of tomorrow will need. If we don’t encourage students to master these skills through quality arts instruction today, how can we ever expect them to succeed in their highly competitive business careers tomorrow?”-Richard GurinChief Executive Officer, Binney and Smith, maker of Crayola crayonsMusic is a part of our society and a part of all communities – every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and ideals. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to developing greed and a selfish attitude, provides bridges across different cultures that lead to a respect of other races at an early age.Music has a great value to our economy – it creates jobs, increase’s tax base, boosts tourism and spurs growth in related businesses. Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace such as teamwork skills and discipline – during musical performances all members must work together to create the sounds they wish to achieve and for this regular practice is also required. Music favors working and ‘doing’ as opposed to observing, and these are the ethics employers are looking for.Because of music’s ability to relax, calm and heal, and its optimal platform for emotions, the involvement with music helps to carve brighter attitudes – more optimism towards the future, less TV and non productive activities, low use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs and desire to develop individual abilities.Music requires study skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills and as these are learnt and developed they expand the student’s abilities in other academic areas and help them become better students. – Students with coursework/experience in music performance and music appreciation scored higher on the SAT: students in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal and 41 points higher on the math, and students in music appreciation scored 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on the math, than did students with no arts participation. — College-Bound Seniors National Report: Profile of SAT Program Test Takers. Princeton, NJ: The CollegeEntrance Examination Board, 2001.The discipline of music, particularly through participation in ensembles, helps students learn to work effectively in the school environment without resorting to violent or inappropriate behavior – According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as “disruptive” (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as “disruptive.” — Based on data from the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study), second follow-up, 1992..Many studies have been conducted on the effects of music in the brain. Scientists say that children who are exposed to music or those who play an instrument do better in school than those who don’t. Recent research suggests exposure to music may benefit a child’s reading age, IQ and the development of certain parts of the brain.It can be shown that some measures of a child’s intelligence are increased with music instruction – a connection between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things) helps people to visualize and imagine solutions. This helps people to solve problems creatively and is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for solving mathematical problems and even general daily tasks.”The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling–training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attention skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression.” — Ratey John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.Along with mental development music study can support the brains physical development – it has been indicated that musical training physically develops the parts of the brain known to be involved with processing language and reasoning, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Memory can be improved through the linking of familiar songs with objects just as linking images can – past memories and emotions can be triggered by audio.”Why arts in education? Why education at all? The purpose of education is not simply to inform but to enrich and enlighten, to provide insights into life as it has been led and as it may be led. No element of the curriculum is better suited to that task than arts education.”-David KearnsNow retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox CorporationIdeally we want our children to experience “success” throughout life itself. The benefits may be psychological, spiritual and physical and with the challenge of making life meaningful and fulfilled and to reach a higher state of development by participating in music we develop self expression which in turn leads to self esteem – ultimately helping us to succeed at these challenges.”Casals says music fills him with the wonder of life and the ‘incredible marvel’ of being a human. Ives says it expands his mind and challenges him to be a true individual. Bernstein says it is enriching and ennobling. To me, that sounds like a good cause for making music an integral part of every child’s education. Studying music and the arts elevates children’s education, expands students’ horizons, and teaches them to appreciate the wonder of life.”
– U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, July 1999.ConclusionMusic is a powerful tool and as seen can dramatically improve and enrich everybody. It makes sense to push music education and to allow young generations to gain these wonderful benefits – higher intelligence through increased creative thinking, problem solving and physically stronger brains, a higher perception of life including better attitudes, strong desires to achieve and fulfil and higher self esteem, better developed discipline, study skills, concentration, communication and team skills which transfer from education through to career and a better understanding of communities and society

Life Purpose: 5 Reasons People Don’t Live Their Passions, Part 2

This is the second in a series of articles describing why people who want to live a more fulfilling life by being on purpose, fail to follow through with making the changes they desire.To review, the five areas that stop people are:1. Lack of clarity on what they are passionate about or what is meaningful to them.2. Time/lack of commitment3. Money4. Fears about failure or what others might think5. Beliefs, conscious and subconscious, that don’t serve themIn Part One, which can be found here on EzineArticles, I covered getting clear on what you are passionate about and what is truly, deeply meaningful to you. So, once you’re clear on what lights you up, what’s still holding you back?Many people say they just don’t have the time to pursue making a change in their lives. The idea of going in another direction, however appealing, just seems too overwhelming. There is a lack of commitment to doing what it takes to moving into a more fulfilling life because it looks like too big a task. They worry about obligations to other things that are indeed important, like family and the current job that’s supplying income. Then movement stops and life proceeds in the same unsatisfactory pattern that it has been.The first thing to understand about feeling like there is no time to make the changes you’d like to make to move into a life connected to your passions and purpose, is that you don’t have to do it all at once. Take a breath here! This is a gradual process. There is no rush. Start by simply making a list of the steps you think you will need to take to reach your goal. Think of different areas or categories that may be involved in moving toward what you want. Then list the action steps needed to accomplish them. Commit to 30 minutes to complete this first step. That’s it. Just 30 minutes.Then you can take a look at the action steps you’ve created and prioritize. What one thing can you do today to move closer to your goal? You may pick one action step a day or one step a week. It doesn’t matter as long as you are consistent. One step at a time feels much more manageable than thinking about the entire process. Some steps will take very little of your time. Check them off your list as you go along and celebrate the accomplishment. Your brain likes to have the feeling of progress! Waiting until big goals are accomplished is too long to wait to celebrate. Your celebration can be as simple as a fist pump or telling yourself, “Well done!” Just acknowledge your accomplishment.In choosing an action step to take, make sure you have done the “emotional journey” first. Any action you take because you feel you “should” when you are feeling out of alignment with it–in other words, not feeling good about it–will not be successful. When an action feels like the next logical step and you feel a sense of aliveness or excitement about it, it will be successful.Some steps will push at your comfort zone, and that’s fine. In order to expand and grow we do need to step out past what is comfortable. It takes some practice to feel the difference between a red flag saying, “Don’t go there now” and simply feeling like you’re stepping outside your comfort zone. The only way to figure it out is to do it and pay attention to what happens. Don’t worry-you can always course correct if it is the wrong action.A commitment is a decision. Decide how you want to live your life. Do you want to get to the end of it never having done the things you felt in your heart you were meant to do? How would that feel? Make a commitment to yourself and to the world you were meant to serve and take that one step today!

Three Tips to Remember While Purchasing Maternity Clothing

Expecting a child is one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life. The anticipation of the arrival of a new member in your family is not only exciting but also a very contented phase. However, it does come with a few tough moments, and one of it is the changes that come to your body. As a result you suddenly find all your costly and beautiful outfits not fitting you. A few decades back this was not a major issue as most mothers-to-be would be staying at home and could manage with old hand-me-downs from friends and sisters. Today, things are different. Women have just as much social life as men, including their work, friends, sororities, etc. And for these women the solution is none other than maternity clothing!Maternity clothing, when it started off, was highly expensive and only the rich went for it as only they could afford it. Moreover, after pregnancy you could wear it only for another two or three months. However, the current era has seen a great growth in the market, and the cost of maternity clothing has come down to survive the competition. As a result, now you’ll find thousands of stores for maternity clothing on the streets as well as online. Consumers for these items have also increased in these years.Today, maternity clothing comes in a wide variety. Gone are the days when expecting mothers were seen in baggy pants and oversized frocks. You’ll find some elegant and beautiful clothes in the stores that could boost the confidence of the to-be-mums and make them feel proud of their bodies. However, while choosing the best-looking attire to fill your wardrobe, there are a few aspects that you need to take care of.
Go for maternity clothing that can make you comfortable and look great at the same time. There are several brands that make clothing item for expecting women and these brands ensure that the clothes are made of the best material. This way you would stay comfortable while looking your best. And some of these clothes can also be worn as normal clothes later by adding accessories like a belt.
Buy clothes that would last for about three pregnancies at least. The reason is that you will not be wearing them after your pregnancy. Since maternity clothing is not very cheap it is better if you could get clothes made of durable materials that you could re-use for your next pregnancies as well. You could pass them over to your friends or sisters too.
Think of future as well while buying maternity clothing. In other words, buy items that you could use while feeding the baby too. Most companies today offer maternity clothing that can be used later as nursing clothing too. This way you could save some money that you would otherwise be spending on clothes while feeding the baby.
Thanks to the various online stores today selecting the clothing has become very easy. Without even leaving your home you could browse different famous brands of maternity clothing and make your choice. Without doubt, maternity clothing has turned rocking, changing the age old beliefs of pregnancy bloating and bumps.