Benefit four: Success in Life
Each of us wants our children — and the children of all those around us — to achieve success in school, success in employment, and success in the social structures through which we move. But we also want our children to experience “success” on a broader scale. Participation in music, often as not based on a grounding in music education during the formative school years, brings countless benefits to each individual throughout life. The benefits may be psychological or spiritual, and they may be physical as well:
- “Studying music encourages self-discipline and diligence, traits that carry over into intellectual pursuits and that lead to effective study and work habits. An association of music and math has, in fact, long been noted. Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients. For all these reasons, it deserves strong support in our educational system, along with the other arts, the sciences, and athletics.” — Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Leading Heart Surgeon, Baylor College of Music.
- “Music has a great power for bringing people together. With so many forces in this world acting to drive wedges between people, it’s important to preserve those things that help us experience our common humanity.” — Ted Turner, Turner Broadcasting System.
- “Music is one way for young people to connect with themselves, but it is also a bridge for connecting with others. Through music, we can introduce children to the richness and diversity of the human family and to the myriad rhythms of life.” — Daniel A. Carp, Eastman Kodak Company Chairman and CEO.
- “Casals says music fills him with the wonder of life and the ‘incredible marvel’ of being a human. Ives says it expands his mind and challenges him to be a true individual. Bernstein says it is enriching and ennobling. To me, that sounds like a good cause for making music and the arts an integral part of every child’s education. Studying music and the arts elevates children’s education, expands students’ horizons, and teaches them to appreciate the wonder of life.” — U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, July 1999.
- “The nation’s top business executives agree that arts education programs can help repair weaknesses in American education and better prepare workers for the 21st century.”— “The Changing Workplace is Changing Our View of Education.” Business Week, October 1996.
- “Music making makes the elderly healthier.... There were significant decreases in anxiety, depression, and loneliness following keyboard lessons. These are factors that are critical in coping with stress, stimulating the immune system, and in improved health. Results also show significant increases in human growth hormones following the same group keyboard lessons. (Human growth hormone is implicated in aches and pains.)” — Dr. Frederick Tims, reported in AMC Music News, June 2, 1999
- “Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them — a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” — Gerald Ford, former President, United States of America
- “During the Gulf War, the few opportunities I had for relaxation I always listened to music, and it brought to me great peace of mind. I have shared my love of music with people throughout this world, while listening to the drums and special instruments of the Far East, Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Far North — and all of this started with the music appreciation course that I was taught in a third-grade elementary class in Princeton, New Jersey. What a tragedy it would be if we lived in a world where music was not taught to children.” — H. Norman Schwarzkopf, General, U.S. Army, retired
- “Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and, by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.” — Bill Clinton, former President, United States of America