Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether listening, singing, or playing an instrument. But despite this almost universal interest, many school districts are having to do away with their music education programs. But at the Rio School District music programs are encouraged and embraced. Rio School District realizes music can enrich students’ lives and education.
An epic longitudinal study by researchers at the German Institute for Economic Research concluded in no uncertain terms that music training “improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills” In 1999, James Caterall, an arts education policy analyst at UCLA, found that students who studied music had higher grades, higher test scores, better attendance records and higher rates of community engagement than other students. Even more compellingly, UCLA’s study found that these benefits were even more pronounced in students from low-income families, proving that music education plays a major role in closing the achievement gap. Disadvantaged students who performed with their school band or orchestra were more than twice as likely to be performing at the highest levels of math than peers who did not receive musical training.
That’s why we need music education. Music gives kids the cognitive abilities they need to succeed in life. Not only that, it closes the achievement gap that has long plagued our schools. It gives kids confidence, cognitive abilities and imagination.