Music in schools and why it shouldn't be cut.

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Music has always been an influential part of human life. From classical music to the playing of musical instruments, its influence on the everyday lives of humans is great. Children of all ages listen to and play music just simply for the nature of it being fun. But music can also be beneficial for a child's development. At an early age children can imitate melodies and rhythms, most of the time without even realizing it. They can even compose music spontaneously if left alone with a toy or instrument of that matter. So should music classes be taken out of schools just on the basis of there not being enough money for it, even if we know it is beneficial for a child's development? I am here to answer that questions and provide a clear statement in this ongoing study of children and music.

Musical development in children is something that has always been a topic of study. "Music for Babies gives our children an early start in their life's journey. It nurtures a universal wish for health for all children by giving them a melody of calm and relaxed alertness which resonates throughout the body, mind and soul."

-V.L.Scaramella-Nowinski, Psy.D. Pediatric Neuropsychologist.

Even before being born, the fetus can hear music. After week 26 of pregnancy the auditory system in the brain is starting to become fully functional. At this point the fetus can start to receive music in the form of distinguishable sound transmissions (Abrams, R.M., Griffiths, K., & Huang, X. 307-317). The sound transmissions have been shown to have very distinct initial responses. These responses usually include body movements and variations in heart rate. It is said that music is shown to have a possible 'calming' effect on the infant due to the fact that is causes a short-term slowing of the heart rate (Lecanuet, J.-P. Granier-Deferre, C., & Busnel, M.-C. 81-93.). An interesting study by Hepper in the Queen's University, Belfast, looked into both pre-natal and post-natal effects of music on children. They concentrated on the theme tune to a popular program, which one group of mothers watched regularly during her pregnancy. Two to four days after the babies were born they were tested for responses to the same theme tune of that program. The babies showed a subsequent decrease in heart rate which wasn't exhibited by the control group of infants, whose mothers had not been watching the program (Hepper, P. G. 95-107.). This leads to conclude that unfamiliar material does not have the same calming effect on infants that familiar material does. If a mother during pregnancy exposes her child to a certain type of music or certain song, when her child is born playing that same song with give the child a sense of comfort and will help to calm the child when heard. Memories of the womb helps the child relax. It is also shown that children who were played music while still in the womb showed an increase in development in such behaviors as facial expressions, motor skills, eye-hand coordination, linguistic development (LaFuente, M.J., Grifol, R., & Segarra, J. 151-162.). One cannot know if these stats are completely accurate as the statistics were given by the mothers, who may have taken a bias stand when judging their child's development. This information is similar to that collected in studies of the so-called 'Mozart Effect', where mothers will play classical music for their children while still in the womb to increase the child's brain activity. With increased brain activity, the child has is likely to come out smarter than if not exposed to classical music. Although this study has not been proven, many researcher stand by it strongly. Recently a study by Dr. Norman M. Weinberger has shown that pre-natal learning extends well after birth. In this study he found that a baby needs to be at least 30 weeks old to be able to demonstrate musical learning. In his studies it shows that children under this age were not able to distinguish the new types of material...
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