Hold Me, I'm a Fermata. Research Paper on Music Education and the effects of music upon the brain.

Essay by writersblock87High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2005

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Music education in the public school system is essential to the successful development of wisdom in young students. Personal and academic knowledge and confidence are greatly influenced by this musical understanding. Although the purely academic courses offered in today's school system challenge the mind to bring more intellect, "for many people, music is a release that is not found in any other class" (Lidh) thus allowing the mind to create with autonomy rather than ascertain information dependently. "Music, to me, drives what personality one has..." "... that is the thing that music does to everyone; it makes them unique because all music is unique" (Clayton). Music helps to shape what people become. Its impact stretches far past that of scholastics; its reach shows power in extracurricular life as well.

Although music can be taught to people of all ages, its greatest influence is seen in those who started lessons between the ages of three and eight.

Clinical studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been preformed to show "that the fibers in the corpus callosum, which connect the left and right brain hemispheres, are as much as fifteen percent larger in musicians compared to nonmusicians. But this only occurred when the adults started playing before the age of eight" (Jensen, 18). This increases the "interhemispheric brain activity for auditory processing" (18). Communication between the right and left sides of the brain facilitates the retention of acquired knowledge. So then, the positive effects of learning music - while available to all - are far greater felt when started early, and also increases the creative activity in any developing child's mind.

Several studies have shown that participation in music education can improve many students' ability to learn. Active music making has been linked to increased mathematical capability, language discrimination and development, better...