The Importance of Music Education in Schools

The benefits of music education are immense and highly beneficial to students. Music positively impacts a child’s academic performance, assists in developing social skills, and provides an outlet for creativity that is crucial to a child’s development. Music education catapults a child’s learning to new heights, and because of this, it should always be considered a pivotal part of a child’s educational process.

Music Education and Its Impact on Student Learning

Music education improves and develops language skills in children. Music stimulates the brain, and with its varied sounds and lyrics, students are exposed to a large amount of vocabulary in a short amount of time. Music also provides exposure to other languages, which creates a foundation for the student’s ability to understand and communicate in a different language.

Music is a vehicle for excellent memory skills. Have you ever listened to a song for the first time in a long time and still remember the lyrics? Even individuals who are not musicians experience this phenomenon. Through catchy melodies and a variety of sounds, music has a way of “sticking” with us and is a powerful tool for learning when used appropriately — just think of singing the ‘A, B, Cs’ or ‘The State Capitols’ song.

On the flip side, students also increase their mental capabilities in multiple ways when participating in music education. As stated before, music fosters memorization skills. In addition to song lyrics, students must memorize all aspects of music when preparing for a performance. Students must recall rhythms, pitches, dynamics, and several other elements all at once. Students can then transfer those memory skills to the academic classroom and employ those skills in their studies.

Social Benefits of Music Education

The mental benefits of music education are extremely advantageous to students in schools; however, the social benefits are just as wonderful! Music education requires teamwork and collaboration. While playing instruments together, students develop listening skills. They must listen to others to better gage volume levels, the implementation of dynamics, and so much more. Teamwork and collaboration is also required when completing simple musical tasks such as rhythmic and melodic notation. Students quickly learn to value the opinions and ideas of others and how to efficiently combine those thoughts to complete the task at hand.

In addition to teamwork, music education creates long lasting friendships and relationships. Students involved in band or choir bond over their love and enjoyment of music. They share exciting moments together through music, help develop one another’s abilities, and become a support system for each other. This special bond also increases student engagement in school.

Music education allows students an opportunity to experience different cultures. In early music education, the use of songs and games from other countries is extremely prevalent. Students learn how other children play and compare that knowledge to their own lives. In addition, students develop an understanding of other cultures, which leads to a beautiful acceptance of others. Students realize that recognizing differences is good, and it creates a greater respect for others.

Other Benefits of Music Education

Music education promotes improved coordination, specifically hand-eye coordination. Musicians must multitask! They must do multiple things all at once, all of which improves coordination and further develops the brain. Student musicians must read music, interpret it, and physically initiate the music through the playing of their instrument. These steps are repeated continuously throughout any performance of a piece of music, and even the youngest of learners slowly develop their coordination skills through continued music practice.

Music education fosters greater work ethic and discipline in children. Students of music learn from an early age that hard work, determination, and a positive mindset are all you need to succeed, but with those characteristics, continual practice is required. Students learn that improving musical skills does not come easy, as it requires hours of study and practice. Through this, students gain a greater concept of work ethic and learn to discipline themselves to reach goals. Work ethic and discipline are huge factors of music education, and it is important to note that those life skills will positively impact a student when entering the work force, completing tasks, etc.

Because music education is an outlet for creativity, it can be a source of stress relief. Unfortunately, there are many stressors present for children at school and at home (pressure to pass the test, make the grade, make the team, exceed expectations, and so on). Music education allows students a chance to excel with fewer limits and greater possibilities. It also gives students something to look forward to during the school day (not that students do not look forward to math, science, etc.); thus, directly impacting student engagement in school. Music simply provides a different means of student expression, and there are fewer barriers to what students can do and explore. Students who are involved in music education generally have an overall increase in engagement and enjoyment in school.

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The final benefit of music education may be one of the most important benefits. Music transcends the limits of language. Music has no language barrier. It is something that brings people together regardless of ethnicity or background. Music also transcends academic barriers as well. All learners can be successful in music. Sometimes, students who are not very inept academically soar in the arts! Students who cannot remember basic math skills can remember and employ the use of various rhythmic patterns effortlessly. Music literally becomes their best subject, and they shine in it! Through this, a student’s sense of self and his/her confidence is dramatically boosted. All children desire to be good at something and develop a sense of achievement for a job well done, and music education produces an outlet that is perfect for that.

— Update: 10-02-2023 — found an additional article Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools from the website for the keyword benefits of music education.

Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools

Benefits of music education
VLADGRIN | iStock | Thinkstock

This article is originally appeared on the Bachelors Degree website (2014)
and has been updated by NAfME (2021). 

Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. But despite this almost universal interest, many schools are choosing to do away with their music education programs. This is a mistake, with schools losing not only an enjoyable subject, but a subject that can enrich students’ lives and education. Read on to learn why music education is so important, and how it offers benefits even beyond itself.

1. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning: Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. The left side of the brain is better developed with music, and songs can help imprint information on young minds.

2. A mastery of memorization: Even when performing with sheet music, student musicians are constantly using their memory to perform. The skill of memorization can serve students well in education and beyond.

3. Students learn to improve their work: Learning music promotes craftsmanship, and students learn to want to create good work instead of mediocre work. This desire can be applied to all subjects of study.

4. Increased coordination: Students who practice with musical instruments can improve their hand-eye coordination. Just like playing sports, children can develop motor skills when playing music.

5. A sense of achievement: Learning to play pieces of music on a new instrument can be a challenging, but achievable goal. Students who master even the smallest goal in music will be able to feel proud of their achievement.

6. Kids stay engaged in school: An enjoyable subject like music can keep kids interested and engaged in school. Student musicians are likely to stay in school to achieve in other subjects.

7. Success in society: Music is the fabric of our society, and music can shape abilities and character. Students in band or orchestra are less likely to abuse substances over their lifetime. Musical education can greatly contribute to children’s intellectual development as well.

8. Emotional development: Students of music can be more emotionally developed, with empathy towards other cultures They also tend to have higher self esteem and are better at coping with anxiety.

9. Students learn pattern recognition: Children can develop their math and pattern-recognition skills with the help of musical education. Playing music offers repetition in a fun format.

10. Fine-tuned auditory skills: Musicians can better detect meaningful, information-bearing elements in sounds, like the emotional meaning in a baby’s cry. Students who practice music can have better auditory attention, and pick out predictable patterns from surrounding noise.

11. Music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity: Introducing music in the early childhood years can help foster a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Artistic education develops the whole brain and develops a child’s imagination.

12. Music can be relaxing: Students can fight stress by learning to play music. Soothing music is especially helpful in helping kids relax.

13. Musical instruments can teach discipline: Kids who learn to play an instrument can learn a valuable lesson in discipline. They will have to set time aside to practice and rise to the challenge of learning with discipline to master playing their instrument.

14. Preparation for the creative economy: Investing in creative education can prepare students for the 21st century workforce. The new economy has created more artistic careers, and these jobs may grow faster than others in the future.

15. Development in creative thinking: Kids who study the arts can learn to think creatively. This kind of education can help them solve problems by thinking outside the box and realizing that there may be more than one right answer.

16. Music can develop spatial intelligence: Students who study music can improve the development of spatial intelligence, which allows them to perceive the world accurately and form mental pictures. Spatial intelligence is helpful for advanced mathematics and more.

17. Kids can learn teamwork: Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.

18. Responsible risk-taking: Performing a musical piece can bring fear and anxiety. Doing so teaches kids how to take risks and deal with fear, which will help them become successful and reach their potential.

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19. Better self-confidence: With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. Musical education is also likely to develop better communication for students.

Teachers, Music Parents, Students, and Advocates: looking for more information on music’s benefits? Check out these other resources:

  • Join the Arts ARE Education national campaign
  • NAfME Music Education Advocacy Resource Center
  • Arts Education Is Essential unified statement of 100+ organizations
  • How can public policy support music education and Social Emotional Learning? (brochure)
  • Music Education and SEL: An Advocacy Tool for Music Educators (brochure)
  • Learn about music’s standing in federal education law on the Everything ESSA resource page
  • Music advocacy flyer
  • Support music education for all students
  • Learn what NAfME is doing to support music education, and how you can help.
  • Read the latest in music education advocacy news.
  • Music Advocates: Join NAfME today to make a difference for music. Learn more.
  • 5 Ways to Support Your Music Program
  • NAfME’s Music In a Minuet Blog – search by category on this page

Did this blog spur new ideas for your music program? Share them on Amplify! Interested in reprinting this article? Please review the reprint guidelines.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

— Update: 12-02-2023 — found an additional article The Benefits of Music Education for Children from the website for the keyword benefits of music education.

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    byDesma Corhn

    Benefits of music education

    Children love music, especially elementary-school age children. Most of them can sing the theme song of their favorite show word for word, dancing around the living room. A recent study proved that music education for children has a positive impact on development and growth. While you celebrate World Day of Music on June 21, consider these educational music games for kids to increase their interest in music.

    Mental and Physical Benefits of Music Education

    Music games are fun for elementary school-aged children, improving their bodies mentally and physically. A recent study shows that early childhood and care educators believe that music is a creative outlet for children. It doesn’t matter if the child is learning how to play an instrument or sing and dance. Music sparks a student’s creativity, which encourages their vivid imagination. Honestly, that’s not a bad thing. Besides becoming more imaginative, you will see:

    • An improvement in their vocabulary and language 
    • More self-confidence 
    • More self-discipline 
    • Increased motor skills 
    • Improved listening skills 
    • Enhanced social skills

    Music education has an impact on all learning. It makes children smarter and stimulates their brains, requiring them to simultaneously listen for the beat, read along with sheet music, and coordinate their movements to play the instrument or dance with the rhythm.

    Educational Music Games for Elementary School Children

    Karaoke Competition

    What better way to make music education fun than letting your students sing their favorite song? At the elementary school age, most children are familiar with popular songs from music videos or television shows. With an app such as, you can create a list of songs from singers like Adele, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran. For the shy students, let them form a singing group. You and the whole family can join in on the fun, letting your little one judge the performance or win a small prize.

    The Statue Game

    Kids love to jump up and get down when they hear a dance song. What better way to get them interested in music than with a game that lets them dance to their little heart’s desire? All you need is lots of space and a good dance song. Put the song on and let the children dance. When the song stops, they freeze. Anyone who moves is out of the game. Continue to play and stop the music until there is only one kid left standing. This is your winner!

    Musical Chairs

    An oldie but goodie. Put enough chairs for each child in a circle. Play some music and let the kids move around the chairs. When the music stops, they must sit down. Then, be sure to remove a chair just before you strike up the music again. One kid will not have a chair to sit in when the music stops and is out of the game. The last one standing is the winner.

    Music Education Resources

    Need some ideas for getting your students interested in learning music? These online resources can get you started in the right direction. The best part: they are free!

    Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom

    These free workshops help teachers and parents create their children’s music education curriculum. While most classes are online, some are offered in-house. A subscription isn’t necessary, and each teaching video will let you know what’s needed. The online workshops are YouTube videos led by Lincoln Center teacher artists. Children can learn how to sing a chorus or make music beats with their mouths. If your child has happy feet and loves to dance, they can learn some house music or African dance moves. There are also concerts you can watch in the classroom or at home.

    Read more  Tuning In: Six Benefits of Music Education for Kids

    Little Kids Rock Jamzone

    Sessions include songwriting to beginner ukulele lessons. (You need to have your own instrument.) If your child is already studying music, there is a section where they can practice improving their skills using step-by-step instruction slides. “Jam Along” lets kids play their guitar or drums along with popular songs by BTS or Beyonce.

    Big Ear Games

    With this app, playing mobile games and learning music go hand in hand. Students can create their own songs, learn about rhythm and melody, as well as play the guitar. Children don’t need any prior music experience or instruments. Whether online or in the classroom, teachers help students put the musical notes together for songs like “Jingle Bells” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Children can also publish their music on social media.

    — Update: 13-02-2023 — found an additional article Tuning In: Six Benefits of Music Education for Kids from the website for the keyword benefits of music education.

    Benefits of music educationToday, children of all ages experience rigorous career preparation as part of their education. School systems strive to implement mandated standards to help students excel in standardized testing and gain necessary skills for future job opportunities.

    In this worthwhile pursuit, many creative school programs such as art and music are deemed unnecessary and cut from the curriculum.

    What many schools do not realize, however, is that programs such as music education can have major positive impacts on growth and development.

    In fact, these six benefits of music education not only show how music can benefit children now, but how it goes hand-in-hand with their preparation for future endeavors.

    Enhanced language capabilities

    Would you like your child to have larger vocabulary and enhanced reading comprehension skills? Studies show consistent music education improves both areas. How does it work?

    Emerging evidence suggests the area of the brain controlling both musical ability and language comprehension are more related than previously thought. Music education requires students to recognize and repeat pitch, tone or enunciation of words.

    Especially in young children, music directly benefits the ability to learn words, speak them correctly, and process the many new sounds they hear from others.

    Improved memory

    Music education involves a high level of memorization. Students must be able to read music by sight, play the proper notes on their instrument or recall lyrics. This process benefits the overall memory center of the brain.

    In one study, musicians outperformed non-musicians in auditory, visual, and memory tests.

    Music is also easily stored in our memory. Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? You can use music to help children remember things. Examples include using common tunes to memorize facts, playing meditative music during study time, and using music resources when presenting materials.

    Strengthened hand-eye coordination

    Playing a musical instrument has long been known to enhance dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

    When playing an instrument, a musician must be able to create the correct notes through the proper hand motions, whether it be hitting keys, closing valves or using another apparatus to produce sound. In addition, the musician is also required to read the sheet music and follow the conductor.

    This opportunity to grow motor skills is especially significant in younger children. Even a basic introduction to an instrument, such as a hitting a triangle or learning a song on a recorder, can be beneficial.

    Powerful study habits

    As children grow and are exposed to more rigorous courses of study, time spent reviewing and retaining is essential to success. More and more time in the classroom is spent on introducing new subjects and ideas, requiring students to work at home to ensure they have grasped onto the necessary information.

    When children are exposed to proper music education, they learn powerful study habits. Mastering their specific musical craft takes a concerted effort, consistent practice and patience. These disciplined habits translate into other areas of study.


    Music is often thought of as a way to foster individual expression. While it definitely is that, music can also teach teamwork. No place is this more evident or powerful than in schools.

    Students work together to create a cohesive, technically correct performance. Together, they form a community of like-minded individuals who can help each other reach goals. Many students find a sense of belonging in school music programs.

    Mental processing & problem-solving heightened

    In the end, one of the most useful benefits of music education is the increased ability to process situations and find solutions mentally. Those with musical training have been found to have higher levels of grey matter volume in their brains, which are directly tied to auditory processing and comprehension.

    Surprisingly, one of the areas of life this is most important for is forming relationships. Musicians learn to listen to others, sense emotion,and react with greater depth and understanding.

    Music education for kids

    Music education is an important aspect of providing children with a well-rounded education. When allowed to work in harmony with other subjects and areas of study, music helps children grow in self-esteem, build essential skills and prepare for bright futures.

    Jenny Silverstone is the primary author of Mom Loves Best, a research-driven parenting blog that covers important topics such as education, child safety and healthy childhood development milestones.

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