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Arts Improving Students School Work

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On average, teens listen to about 2 ½ hours of music a day, according to a study done by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2010 called “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18- Year-Olds.” This foundation focuses on lots of major healthcare problems in the United States. Their research showed that people ages 8-18 spend an average of 7 hours a day on social media, and 2 ½ of those 7 hours are spent listening to music, and that’s just in 2010. Music is such a big part of teenagers lives, but what if it was helping us in more ways than we know. We listen to music to help us express our emotions and connect with others through our favorite songs. Music is on the go for us wherever we are, whether it’s on our phones or in the car. Songs that we listen to on a daily basis and the art classes in our schools may be improving our school work and our grades without us even really knowing it.


The arts have been proven to increase academic scores in high school students. Painting classes, playing an instrument in band, or singing in the school choir can all help improve grades. Jessica Velasco writes on her blog “How the Arts Can Help Students Excel,” posted on December 11, 2012, about how there is a direct correlation of success between students in theater and their accomplishments in reading and math classes. She also says that the arts education will gain students more cultural awareness. Adding to that, she wrote about a study that was done that proved students who exceeded the minimum amount of art classes required in their high school were 1.5 times more likely to meet or exceed standards on the ACT test as well as getting average or above average scores on statewide tests. Many schools put the arts classes to the side; as a result, they are either taken completely out of schools or they are a last priority. Art classes have just as many benefits as all the math, science, and reading classes do. The article “20 Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools” posted on July 21, 2014 from the National Association for Music Education says that musical training develops creative thinking, better memory, and increased coordination. They point out how students involved in art and music will strive to do their work to the best of their ability, instead of mediocre work. It also says that music in schools will help students get better SAT scores. Music can have its bad sides in teens lives, but it has more positive effects than negative. Some songs can influence bad behaviors for teens, but songs are also very effective for helping teens with their emotions. The arts help students express themselves and be creative. It can also provide a class during the school day that relieves a student's stress. Art classes increase student’s ability to have an open mind and be more optimistic.


There have been multiple studies to test if music involvement improves school grades. In 2006, E. Glenn Schellenberg from the University of Toronto studied the long term effects between music and IQ. He found that for 5 year olds, listening to children's songs helped their creativity. For 10 and 11 year olds, he found that listening to pop music improved memory, judgement, and perception performances. He found that the longer the child was in music lessons, the more it would positively benefit them in the long run. A study done by Stanford University School of Medicine found that music had lots of positive effects with the brain, improving attention and the ability to make predictions. According to the American Psychological Association in June 2006, younger kids that were involved in music lessons had an additional one-sixth of a point added on to their IQ for each month they were involved with the lessons. Overall, they found that people who took music lessons as a kid had a better IQ than most people and had good high school grades.


Music has also shown to benefit students while they are studying. It really depends on the person and their style of what music they listen to and their studying preferences. Some people prefer to only listen to music while writing and others only play music while doing math, but for most teens, listening to music makes homework more enjoyable. Studying can be a very stressful task and listening to a favorite song can help ease the stress and make the task easier and less dreadful. Music has the amazing ability to improve our learning environment. Music can also help students focus. The ‘Mozart Effect’ is a theory that has been studied many times showing that listening to Mozart’s music can actually make a person smarter. It also shows that classical music is the the most effective music to listen to while studying. The article “Can Listening to Music Help Students Study” written by the San Diego Virtual School on March 15, 2016, talks about the Mozart Effect and says that listening to Mozart’s music gives the student a short-term improvement of problem solving and mentally piecing information together. They also say that more styles of music can have the same benefits. Another type of music that has shown to help students study is surprisingly video game music. This actually makes a lot of sense, since video game music is designed to help the video gamer to focus on the game. Doing homework to music that was designed to help a person focus will definitely be beneficial.


Really it depends on the student and their preference of music and their likes and dislikes in musical activities. It helps to find a genre that is enjoyable to listen to but at the same time won’t be distracting. Music with lots of lyrics tends to be more distracting because it causes most people to sing along, which makes them multitask. Multitasking has been shown to decrease performance in both tasks that are trying to be accomplished. As brought up earlier, classical music and video game music tend to work best for staying on task when doing homework. Music can have its bad effects like having inappropriate lyrics in songs that young kids might listen to, but music can have more positive effects than negative if used in the right place at the right time. Art classes also improve students lives in many ways. Music and the arts are such a big part of our world today and we need to use all of its positive effects to our advantage.






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