Over 45% of people listen to at least 10 hours of music each week, according to a recent study by Lab42. In addition, a Gallup poll indicates in 2003 that 54% of American households contain at least one musical instrument player. It is evident that music is a significant part of people’s lives, but could listening to and learning music serve other purposes besides providing pleasure as an extracurricular hobby? Many have debated whether music is a valuable part of education. Currently, less than 50% of the nation’s 8th graders are being taught the arts at school, and students are not achieving at high levels in music and art related activities, as reported by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Unfortunately, many people do not realize this fact or are aware but are simply not bothered by it. To some, music training should simply be an optional activity, and schools should not waste money incorporating it into the curriculum. On the other hand, supporters of music education point to the positive results of music training as evidence that it should be included in school curriculums. One such result is an improvement in cognitive abilities–brain-based skills humans need to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex. Because listening to and learning music improves cognitive abilities, music education is a necessary component in everyone’s educational curriculum, since cognitive reasoning is the foundation for successful critical thinking skills.
One type of cognitive skill is spatial-temporal reasoning, the ability to visualize a spatial pattern and understand how pieces fit into that space. In 1993, Psychology professor at University of California- Irvine, Dr. Frances Rauscher and her colleagues demonstr…
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