Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Social and Intellectual Growth is Positively Influenced by Musical Study

"Social growth comes from discovering how to express oneself, understanding others and learning from mistakes.  All of the arts- performance and visual- help with social growth and paying attention to detail, time on task, and perseverance, while also providing intellectual growth."  The Arts Key in Kids, Teens' Development, Kids Chester County by L. Tobin

This quote really hit home for me. Music feeds our souls to grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and physically.  October is National Arts and Humanities Month.  As parents and teachers, we are always looking for ways to help our students (and kids) grow academically, socially, and physically in our ever changing world.  This statement addresses many areas in which people need to excel in to be successful in life.  Here is how music, specifically singing, helps achieve them:

For Social Growth

Being able to express oneself. 

It is so important for people to be able to share what they are feeling with their words and to express what they are truly thinking.  This is paramount for social development.  Musical study can enhance this as, especially with singing, we teach students to express the meaning of the words in a song. Whether it be a Shakespeare poem set to music or a Broadway tune, the performance of a song is enhanced and not complete until the singer can express the emotion of the character or text.  It is the 'icing on the cake'.

This transfers over into a student being able to connect with their emotions (how do THEY also feel about the text) and interpret the meaning of the words written by another (see below).  Not only can they connect with their own emotions better, but understand others better.

Understand others.

Interpreting the meaning of the text of a song is essential to voice lessons.  It helps students relate to the words of others and be in touch with their emotions.  Individual musical study involves understanding the music, the composer, and the teacher.

This translates over into better understanding other peoples feelings and reactions in their everyday life.

Learn from mistakes.

Music lessons teach a student to constantly improve upon their musical skills.  Of course we first focus on learning the notes and rhythm of a song.  We then move on to make sure these skills are completely accurate and learn from any mistakes we may have made.  We learn phrasing and are constantly improving our skills.  It is an art in and of itself to process constructive criticism in musical study which in turn helps our students accept and process critiques in the working world.

For Intellectual Growth

Pay attention to detail.

In any music lesson, paying attention to detail is essential.  What is the time signature, key signature, or dynamic marking?  How fast should the piece go?  What does the composer mean by these markings?

Fast forward to a business situation and putting together a Power Point Presentation or practicing medicine where you are trying to diagnose what is wrong with a patient.  You must pay attention to detail to do each and not let anything fall through the cracks.

Time on task.

Practicing for music lessons at home demonstrates the ability to stay focused and on task (as does time in the lesson).  This develops our ability to focus and follow through to the end of a project (both musically and professionally).


Polishing a song to the point in which it can be performed flawlessly and communicated to the audience is perseverance.  Preparing a song for an audition shows follow through and dedication.   Follow through to the end of a project or presentation in the work world is another intellectual skill we need in the adult world.

So, parents, keep seeking out music and arts lessons for your kids and teachers, please use this information to promote musical lessons or participation in your arts programs.  The arts teach so many things in addition to the beauty of the masterpiece we create!


  1. I am sharing this link with my piano parents.

  2. Social growth is so important for kids. This article is helpful in explaining not jut to parents, but students too, how music can make life better, and more reasons that music education is so important.

  3. Thank you Jody and Mr A for your comments. It is essential for parents and students to know how music can make our lives better and reasons why musical study is so important! Thank you for sharing this article to raise awareness of how important it can be!

  4. I just shared this on my Facebook page for my current (and future) students and parents to read. This is important information!