S. L. Lam
November 24, 2011
Music Programs are Beneficial to our Nation’s Society as a Whole
Music is everywhere. You can hear it in your home, in your car, or on your personal mp3 player. Even unintentionally, you hear it playing in an elevator, in the waiting room of your doctor's office, or even as you pick produce at your local supermarket. It is almost as much a part of life as breathing. The truth is that there are many benefits to music; more than most people know. Studies have shown that music impacts our health in many positive ways. For example, it has been documented that music reduces pain and stress, it slows down your heart rate, stimulates brain cells, boosts ...view middle of the document...
82% of people who play instruments began their training between the ages of 5 and 14, and 42% of these same people are still playing after age 35. 20% are still playing after age 50. (Lyons) Imagine if they would not have been trained at such a young age.
Private lessons are quite expensive. The average piano lesson can run anywhere from $50 to $100 per hour. (Janice) The average student attends at least one lesson per week in order to maintain a consistent flow of learning. This means it would cost anywhere from $200 to $400 per month. In this economy, it would be difficult for the average family to afford this cost.
Regarding the last part of Reynold’s theory, if we take the time to look at the effects of the relationship between music and intelligence in different stages of life, again, we will find substantial evidence to prove that it is thoroughly inaccurate.
For example, the National Association for Music Education documented a study of 144 six-year-olds who were divided into four (4) equal groups. One (1) group was involved in piano classes, one (1) in voice lessons, one (1) in drama and one (1) in neither. One year later, the groups involved in music had the highest IQ’s. The increases were 6.1 for piano students, 7.6 for voice students, 5.1 for those in drama yet only 3.9 for those who were not involved in neither. (Schellenberg)
For high school students, there is an annual competition funded by the Siemens Foundation. Students compete in math, science and technology, making this one of the highest honors a student can receive. The winners are awarded college scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 in individual and team categories. Astoundingly enough, an article in The Midland Chemist stated that almost 100% of their past winners play at least one (1) musical instrument. (Hill, 3) This shows that music plays a large part in the lives of our nation’s smartest students.
Lewis Thomas is a physician and biologist who studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. Through this study he found that 66% of college students who majored in music were accepted as opposed to 44% of biochemistry majors. This is the highest percentage of any group. (Miller)
Even Vernon Stenger, an internationally renowned Analytical Chemist admits to buying a second-hand oboe and learning to play it based on his prior high-school clarinet training. His talent increased to the point where he played in multiple orchestras and ultimately founded his own. When he worked for the Dow Chemical Company he improved their analytical division all the while contributing to the development of orchestras. Acknowledging the importance of music in his life, when the Midland orchestra ended due to finances, he formed a committee to make sure it would continue as a community based orchestra. In 1959 he was named “Musician of the Year” and in 1970 he was awarded the “Anachem Award” which is an...