Editor’s note: Several Delta High School students in teacher Marc Dowd’s class participated in The New York Times 5th Annual Student Editorial Contest earlier this spring. Here is one of the submissions.
A 16-year old doing very well in school with good grades and her career planned out might seem questionable, but it’s possible since she’s been playing piano for eight years. Having musical training can make someone more successful in the future than with no training at all — believe it or not.
Even if training does make one more successful, it’s best to do it in the early developmental stage since music education helps enhance skills that are developing, such as language development.
A group mentioned from PBS explains that children who connect information and familiar songs improve their memory of that new information. The relation between developing language and music gives children a social advantage as well, since musical experience gives strength to the ability of being skillful verbally.
The main type of problem people have said about musical training is affording materials (buying instruments or finding a teacher). However, it is possible to be self-taught instead — like some famous musicians — for instance: Dizzy Gillespie, a famous jazz trumpeter. Musical training does not have to involve a teacher teaching you, however, it is less challenging to learn music that way rather than being self-taught.
In most cases, music affects us in other psychological ways, such as the type of music we listen to. A research project tested how music was able to cause anxiety by using mice. There were three groups: Group A listened to no music, B listened to harmonic music and C listened to disharmonic music for two months. They were then set to figure out how to go through a maze for three months, and had a three-week rest afterward.
The groups went back at the maze to see if they remembered how to get through. The researchers found that Groups A and B were normal. On the other hand, Group C’s mice didn’t remember how to go through the maze, and resulted in hyperactive and aggressive behavior — even cannibalistic behavior. Music overall can damage a person’s mind depending on what they listen to. However, it does not mean they will be too neurologically affected when it comes to genres such as classical, ballad, pop, etc.
If we were to take music lessons in any way, not all of us will be like Mozart or Mariah Carey, but we would still gain many benefits from just learning how to play an instrument — like ending up being in a successful business — for example: Paul Allen — or have a future that we’d all be satisfied with. We might not really have music as a part of our career, but it sure will be all worth it in the end after you get that certain career you want.