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Music | a blessing or destructive influence in the home

  • Most people learn better through music.  
  • Playing a musical instrument reshapes the brain, improves vocabulary development, and helps children achieve higher grades and higher scores on standardized tests.
  • Order is highly valued in life, and can be learned through music.  Music takes time, space, and vibrations, and puts them in order.  It teaches a combination of self-discipline problem-solving, understanding symbols, memorization, physical coordination, emotional communication, judgment, and even mathematics.  
  • Music’s Impact on Children.  Michael Ballam has a Ph.d. in Music History from Indiana University, and is recognized as an authority on the effects of music on the brain.  He has this to say about the impact of music on our children:
“Music is important in children’s brain development.  ACT test scores are significantly higher among music students.  High school students have higher grade point averages than non-music students, and music majors in college have the highest rate of admittance to medical school.  

“Music requires the brain to format itself.  It requires both hemispheres to be utilized at the same time.  It makes the data that comes in to be put in an organized fashion.  Music forces that formatting process to happen, which means that everything from that point forward is going to be more productive.  So, the students who play in the band, sing in the chorus or play in the orchestra, are going to do better in the math class, the history and the English class after that, because their brains are formatted.”  

“Music is powerful, and can shape children for the rest of their lives.  When you look at a word, you only have to know the word.  But, when you look at a note, you have to know the pitch, the rhythm, where to put your finger down on what string mechanically.  Music asks the children to process this all at the same time, which also develops the processes of the brain."
  • Music and Education.  Marilyn Phillips, Principal of an elementary school, reports the following impact of music on education:  
“A widespread music program was begun in Jackson Elementary School in Salt Lake City, where every child and every teacher began to learn music.  There were children from all over the world—some of them homeless, some had parents in jail; a few didn’t even speak English.  Since starting the music program in this school, which is in a high crime area of the city, truancy, burglary and vandalism at the school have all declined.  Students can find a place in music where they can feel successful, giving them the confidence that they can also be successful in other subjects and all aspects of their lives.”    

Marilyn Phillips, Principal,
Jackson Elementary School
Salt Lake City, Utah     

What You Can Do
  • Encourage good music, art and literature in your home.  
  • Play “good” music often in your home, especially sacred and calm music.
  • Teach children to play, sing, appreciate and enjoy good music.  
  • Encourage your children to learn to play a musical instrument, if possible.  Age 4 or 5 is a good age to start piano or violin for most children.  Take time to find the right teacher to motivate your child to want to learn and enjoy music, and your child will enjoy this talent for many years to come.
  • Listen to, dance to, and draw to different types and tempos of music—very fun!  
  • Listen to the words of the music your children are listening to.  Also, listen to and discuss the messages in the TV programs and movies they view.
  • Protect yourself and others from a preventable, permanent hearing loss. Young people who blast their music, whether in the car or while listening to an MP3 player, will damage their hearing.  Car stereos can reach 120 decibels, louder than a chain saw.  An estimated 5.2 million U.S. children, age 6-19, have hearing loss in one or both ears because of noise. (2001 Pediatrics Journal)