Police Reports: Dec. 2, 2014

As I began my tenure as PMA president, and as a librarian, I wanted to research the benefits of music education for children. I wished to see scientific evidence of what I could plainly see anecdotally in my own children, that music provides something more than a pleasant atmosphere and a diversion from video games. 

A simple Google search divulged a wealth of information about the many ways music education from a young age helps develop the brain. However, I went deeper into scholarly articles to be sure the conclusions were sound. 

In a nutshell, I learned the following:

  • Music education prepares students to learn.
  1. Enhances fine motor skills, 
  2. Prepares the brain for achievement,
  3. Fosters superior working memory,
  4. Cultivates better thinking skills.
  • Music education facilitates student academic achievement.
  1. Improves recall and retension of verbal information,
  2. Advances math achievement,
  3. Boosts reading and English language arts skills,
  4. Improves average SAT scores.
  • Music education develops the creative capacities for lifelong success.
  1. Sharpens student attentiveness,
  2. Strengthens perseverance,
  3. Equips students to be creative,
  4. Supports better study habits and self-esteem.

It was clear from my research that music education isn’t simply a nice extra for a school district to offer. 

“The Value and Quality of Arts Education: A Statement of Principles,” a document from the nation’s 10 most important educational organizations, including the American Association of School Administrators, the National Education Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, and the National School Boards Association, begins with the statement, “Every student in the nation should have an education in the arts.”

As a parent who cares about the continuation of a wonderful music program in my children’s schools, I now feel armed to advocate for it should the need ever arise. 

Now that you’ve read this, you also have the basic information needed to be an advocate for music education at District 153, H-F High School, or any school your child ever attends.

Editor’s note: Megan Millen is president of the Parent Music Assocation and is administrative librarian for Flossmoor Public Library. This column originally was published in the 1st Trimester 2014-15 PMA Newsletter, edited by Kate Duff. It was republished here with permission.


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