MusicEducation Should Be a Requirement for StudentsINTRODUCTION Thereare many benefits of music, especially for the students that start growing upto learn, to experience something new and to start growing the self-esteem ofthemselves. Due to the many benefits of the music to the student, it arises fewarguments regarding implementing the music in the educational system. Shouldthe music education implement as early in primary schools? Does music educationwill give positive impacts to the students? It is necessary for schools set a musicas a required subject? Usually the music subject is an optional subject forstudents to learn, even, sometimes, some schools not teaching the music subjectat all.It has been revealed by Keene(2009), music education started in the United States and it was starting thefirst step in 1607 by colonial from England.
However, the singing school, whichwas music based education first established in Boston around 1700 and startedspreading widely to several regions. From there, the music education started takinga step in the private schools as curricular subject. Until now the musiceducation is still implemented as a curricular subject in schools, however, notall schools implements it as requirement subject. Based on the survey conductedby the National Association of Music Merchant (NAMM) Foundation (2015), someparents and teachers insist that the music subject should not be as anextracurricular activity where the students have an option to cut off thesubject if they feel that it is tough for them to learn. The parents andteachers also agreed that it should be part of essential subject in school. Itdescribed that the parents and teachers agreed that music education is acrucial subject as other subjects in schools. Founded result from a study bythe NAMM Foundation (2015), “63% of teachers and 57% of parents believe thatmusic education should start as early as in the middle schools.” It shows thathalf of parents and teachers agreed to implement music education as soon as thestudents enter into the education system.
Besides that, in the survey by theNAMM Foundation stated that 87% teachers and 81% parents believed that thechildren should start playing musical instrumental whenever they enter intoelementary schools. It indicates that most of the parents and teachers believedthat the benefits of the music to the children is more important as they do notsee that music education is something luxurious and they willing to cut anotherprogram rather than the music education program. However, not many schools inMalaysia implement the music education system. Most of the schools thatpracticed this system usually are private schools, for examples areInternational Schools in Kuala Lumpur (Schippers, 2010) and English school in1800 (Yong, 2003). This is because, most people in Malaysia lack of awarenessof the benefits of music education to students. Therefore, through carefulstudy, the music education should be a requirement for students as it can increasethe self-esteem of the students, enhance memory performance and developcreative capacities for their lifelong success. ARGUMENT 1The music education has beenintroduced to the children as early as in the middle and primary schools in USA(Kenee, 2009), however, did we realize that why some people encouraged tointroduce the music education to children as they enter into an education system?Does it just to promote relaxation of mind and soul to students? Not so manypeople realized that music can give more benefits in life other than relaxationof soul and mind.
According to Dixon, Zhang, & Conrad, (2009), “music hasbeen linked to increases in self-esteem for diverse students.” Therefore, musicalso can help students in improving the self-esteem of themselves. In someschools in Malaysia, they have been incorporated the music into the school’scurriculum, but it was not a required course for every student. Hence, it should be practiced as requiredcourse in schools as one of the ways to help students in enhancing theirself-esteem. Although, in the research Hill Strategies (2010), showed that inCanada, 24% of schools did not agreed of implementing music education inschools due to timetable pressure and 26% because of funding, 76% ofrespondents believed that music education will build student’s self-esteem andconfidence while 74% of them believed it can help in improving student’s discipline.
Having high self-esteem is one of chances for the students to success inoutside or inside the schools.How music education would help inimproving student’s self-esteem? Culp (2015) discussed how music education canhelp improving self-esteem, based on her research the self-esteem can be builtthrough activities in classrooms where students have to communicate with eachother to follow the instruction for the group or individual in playinginstrumental music in class. Through that activity, students generally improvetheir confidence level in approaching other people, even in class they mustapproach their friends and teacher to get know how to play that instrumentcorrectly.
What has been concerned is many students have low self-esteem thatalways puts them in negativity all the time. Therefore, the music educationwill help them to be positive in whatever they do since it is very importantfor human beings. As stated by Reasoner (2010), “Students with low self-esteemhave an increased risk for suicide, depression, inaction, stress, difficultymaintaining friendships, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, violence, schoolfailure, and teen pregnancy.” Thus, it is very dangerous, especially forstudents because this is the time they grow to build their personalities and astarting for them to be a successful person. By having the risk of socialproblems that keep increasing, the music education can be one of the keys togrow their self-esteem. This is to avoid and decrease these problems among thestudents.
Surrency (2010) mentioned that,students who involved in instrumental program will have high self-esteem whenthey experienced in demonstrating their abilities in music and it directlycultivates the positive self-esteem of the students, where they believed thatthey can achieve their goals in making the performance success. Besides that,with high self-esteem that mentioned in the article also stated that it makesthe students be more discipline because when the students have been fulfilledby music class there will be less violence in schools that decrease thediscipline cases. Therefore, it logically helps the teachers in buildingpositive self-esteem of the students when they are outside the class,indirectly the self-esteem that they learn from experienced in music class willhelp them in being a leader, a dedicated person who are eager to achieve themain goal and be more discipline. ARGUMENT 2 By implementing music as one of therequirement subject at school it can develop creative capacities of the studentfor their lifelong success. Costa & Kallick (2000) stated that “engagement,persistence, and creativity are 3 major components of higher-level thinking andcomplex problem solving.” From here we can see how music education nourishesthese habits of mind that are essential for success in today’s global,knowledge-based economy as it sharpens student attentiveness. The ability ofthe student to pay attention requires visual focuses, active listening andstaying on task.
These requirements are essential to school performance and togain such ability it begins to develop early in life and is continuouslyrefined. Via exposing students in kindergarten/primary school with musiceducation and make the music subject as one of the requirement subject later inprimary as well as in the university it can benefit the student as Neville etal (2008) found that as “we begin to train one in learning the instrumentalmusic as they are in early childhood it can improve attention abilities, whilecontinued music education throughout adolescence reinforces and strengthensthem.” Thus, being attentive is an essential building block of engagement and acompetency necessary for success in school and the workforce.Besides that, by educating studentswith music it strengthens perseverance. “Perseverance is acontinued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, oropposition” (Merriam Webster, 2017).
Apart of enabling students to become focused on the task,through music education, the students will also build themselves as apersistent person to face any challenges and this can be developed andstrengthened through music education. A study conducted by Waller (2007) foundthat student with music education has more perseverance traits than studentwith non-musical education. Furthermore, according to Scott (1992) “motivation,commitment and persistence are the foundation of perseverance and these all aretraits of creative individuals.”On the other hand, through musiceducation it can equip students to be creative. In today’s world, havingknowledge is just not enough, people need to know how to apply that knowledgeand from the application of the knowledge people are striving to be creativeand at the same time nurtures their originality and flexibility. Study foundthat, “employers identify creativity as one of the top five skills importantfor success in the workforce” (Lichtenberg, Woock, & Wright, 2008). Fromhere we can see how creativity is crucial for one’s success and through musiceducation, it helps develop originality and flexibility, which are keycomponents of creativity and innovation. Craft (2001) found that “graduatesfrom music programs report that creativity, teamwork, communication, andcritical thinking are skills and competencies necessary in their work,regardless of whether they are working in music or in other fields” similarlyas study conducted by SNAAP (2010).
In addition, music education cansupport better for study habits as according to Chesky et al (1997), a study ofmusic majors found that “they felt more prepared for success in college thannon-music majors.” This readiness may be due to the music majors’ disciplineand focus developed via intense practice and performance routines prior tocollege. These habits are typical of music students and may generalize to otheracademic areas and social/emotional aspects of life, contributing to higherself-esteem and success. Therefore, music education enables student to developcreative capacities for their lifelong success by being focused on what theydo, persistence as well as be more creative by being original and flexible. ARGUMENT 3By having music skill, whether theability to read the music or play the instrument of the music it can alsoenhance student’s memory performance. Memory as cited by Sternberg (2012) “is how we retain and draw on our past experiences to use thatinformation in the present” (Tulving, 2000b; Tulving & Craik, 2000). As aprocess, memory refers to “the dynamic mechanisms associated with storing,retaining, and retrieving information about the experience” (Bjorklund,Schneider, & Hernández Blasi, 2003; Crowder, 1976).
Specifically, cognitivepsychologists have identified “three common operations of memory: encoding,storage, and retrieval” (Baddeley, 2002; Brebion, 2007; Brown & Craik,2000). Each operation represents a stage in memory process. Human capabilitiesfor encoding, storing and retrieving the information has become one the mainconcern of cognitivist to study about and there have been lots of research inregard to memory. Manyresearches have been conducted by cognitivist in relation on how does musicaffect memory and according to Fassbender et al. (2012), “music does have aneffect on memory.
” On the other hand, Palmer and Caroline (2006) conducted astudy on music performance can be portrayed as a cognitive skill with largememory demands, or as a motor skill with large physical execution demands. Thestudy discusses the nature of memory for the motor aspects of musicperformance, focusing on the domain of piano performance. It suggests that performer’shand and finger movements, as well as conceptual intentions, are encoded inmemory for performance. The transfer of performance skills from one musicaltask to another is also examined. Skilled performers show more transfer oflearning across melodies that require different motor movements, suggestingthat they were able to generalize beyond the finger sequence learned.
Here, wecan see that by being able to read and play music, it can enhance student’smemory performance. As a student, they might have lot to do with their study,to memorize so many things like facts and theories, so if they are trained touse music as a resolver, it will give a huge impact to the student not only toenhance their memory performance but also lead them to have better academicperformances. Psychologist classified that one of the memorization techniquesunder mnemonics style is by using music to memorize words. “Musical mnemonicsare commonly thought to aid children and adults in learning new information”(Deason et al, 2012). Thus, we can see that how students can gain the benefitfrom learning music as music can aid as well as facilitate them to performbetter especially in memorization task. CONCLUSIONAs a conclusion, based on the threearguments presented on how music education can benefit students across lifedevelopment through enhancing one’s self esteem as it can help students to bemore confident and gain more self-respect. Music education also enablesstudents to develop creative capacities for their lifelong success by beingfocused on what they do, persistence as well as be more creative by beingoriginal and flexible.
In addition, it can also enhance student memoryperformance as it can lead them to have better academic achievement. Althoughthe students only know to play one music instrument, that is enough for thembecause each of the music instruments has comprehensive benefits for them.The most important issue in musiceducation today is the lack of exposure shown by policy makers, school leadersand government on how beneficial music education can give a long-term impact tothe people especially for the young generation. Therefore, the governmentshould invest in the Malaysia Research and Development (education) to studymore on the music’s benefits for better exposure on long term positive impacts.Besides that, the Ministry of Education should also provide and spend morebudget to the Malaysia schools to implement music as formal education. Inaddition, the campaign of the music benefits should spread widely to spread theawareness of the music benefits. Engaging in active music learning over asustained period generates measurable physical, psychological and socialbenefits as well as a cultural benefit that is long-term for the individualsand groups involved.
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