Essay about Music Article

Submitted By gleung77
Words: 359
Pages: 2

Does Music Make You Smarter
Music makes you smarter. That’s the conclusion from a recent study of children who spent at least two years learning to play a musical instrument at The Harmony Project, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that provides free music lessons to low-income students from gang-ridden/ ghetto neighborhoods. Margaret Martin, The Harmony Project’s Founder, noticed several years ago that many of the program’s music students were not only graduating high school, but heading on to UCLA, Tulane, and other notable universities. They were regularly beating the odds compared to their neighbors, and she wondered why. Researchers at Northwestern University took a look at The Harmony Project’s students, analyzing and looking at their graduation rates and other signs of academic success. The study tracked 44 students over two years as they learned to play an instrument. The results, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, show evidence of measurable changes in the brain. The researchers believe the musical training caused those changes, allowing the students to process sounds more easily. That increased ability directly translates into improved reading and speech skills. The findings provide a welcome boost for supporters of music education. Music programs are often at risk in public schools because governing boards struggle to balance competing financial interests. Music classes, bands, and ensembles can seem like “extras,” not worth fighting for when budgets are tight and public study is focused on math and reading scores. But unlike most other subjects, playing a