Music is more than just a form of entertainment; it is also an effective teaching tool and a new form of therapy.

Eight out of the nine Elsberry, Misssouri R-II School District teachers interviewed by SciJourner confirmed that they do indeed use music daily as an aid in the classroom. Those interviewed include teachers of Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, Advanced Learning Program, Early Childhood Special Education and even Agriculture Education.

All of those interviewed said that they have definitely seen the benefits of using music throughout their lessons.  

“I use a CD called the Mozart Effect for Children to help with attention and memory during occupational therapy,” says Karen Kinsler, the occupational therapist at Clarence Cannon Elementary in Elsberry.

The elementary teachers tell SciJourner that they use music in the form of teaching songs to help students make mental connections and to help with learning and memorization. On the other hand, Jason Vandivort, the agriculture education teacher, says, “Music is played in the wood shop and in the greenhouses so the students stay focused and work more efficiently”.

Music can make the difference between isolation and interaction and has been proven to help with challenges, such as depression, anger, pain, autism, stress, grief, loss, time management, motivation, growth, change and procrastination,as well as aid in improving communication and health, according to the American Music Therapy Association.

Music has been known to alleviate stress by increasing the body’s release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller and "feel good" chemicals, according to the Journal of Advanced Nursing. Recent research from McMaster University, Northwestern University and the American Music Therapy Association also suggests that music produces powerful effects on the brain, promoting cognitive development, verbal skills, and emotional intelligence.

Evidence shows a correlation between musical training during childhood and cognitive ability, according to research from McMaster University in 2006. Cognitive development is the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making. Canadian researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, measured changes in brain responses to music in children ages four to six years-old and discovered that children who took music lessons had greater improvements in IQ scores and skills such as mathematics, literacy and verbal memory.

One of the highlights of music therapy is its affect on verbal skills. Research from 2006 from Northwestern University suggests that music training is directly linked to enhanced verbal skills. In fact, this study suggests that music training may be more effective for developing verbal skills than learning phonics. This is because the brain’s multi-sensory involvement during musical practice and performance enhances the same communication skills needed for reading and speaking. Musicians train a certain neural system for processing sight and sound, music and speech. This means that early childhood musical training can help children develop literacy skills and reduce literacy disorders. Music can help bring and keep a more positive state of mind, which helps keep anxiety, eating disorders, and depression at bay. This can help prevent the stress response from wreaking havoc on the body and can help keep creativity and optimism levels higher, according to the research from Northwestern University.

Music has also been found to bring many other benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, which can also reduce the risk of stroke and other health problems over time; boosting immunity; and easing muscle tension, according to a report from Science Daily. Music therapy provides benefits to patients that are well tolerated, inexpensive, easy, to manage and free of side effects. These benefits are causing many to see music as an important tool to help the body in staying or becoming healthy, say experts. Amanda Logan



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  1. While your article includes several credible sources claiming the value of music-mind connections, I wonder if there are any critics or doubters? There may not be, but you should search in the name of objectivity.

  2. This is an interesting article, but doesn’t the type of music being played matter? Right now someone is playing rap in my room, and I can barely concentrate enough to compose this.

  3. Very interesting! I’m wondering what the effect would be if students listened to Mozart while taking the ACT-would it be beneficial?

  4. I really enjoy reading this article because it shows how music can help the development process of children but at the same time it doesn’t say that people have to start playing music when their children are interacting in everyday activities. Keep up the good work nice article.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article because I love music and its ability to help me relax. I agree that music helps students concentrate because my data in a science fair project supported that listening to rock music while studying improves one’s ability to retain information.

  6. The title made me wonder, and i loved reading it. I listen to music almost all day, everyday of my life. I consider it to have a huge part of someone’s mental state and how their brain works. This article was great with all of its facts. Music in classrooms also makes class more enjoyable. Some teacher voice’s you need a break from every once in awhile.

  7. I really enjoyed this article, and it was very appealing to me, especially because I play an instrument. I never would have thought that music could do so many things to the body. Very well written.

  8. My opinion is that music can be very helpful to study, work, relax and etc. The teachers should really consider playing music thats aids brain developement.

  9. This article was very interesting. I play an instrument and am always excited to find out more and more advantages music has to help people. I’m wondering if playing classical music during school would effect grade point averages and concentration during busy work.

  10. music is the one way i can express my self. before games i have certain songss i listen to, that pump me up and get excitedfor my game.