Exploring the benefits of music in schools is our passion. As music educators, we connect kids at an early age to the empowering, expressive benefits of the arts. Music education opens a whole new world to kids: giving them experiences of awe and beauty, fostering emotional coping skills, and even boosting their brain health. Let’s take a closer look at how music education programs directly support students’ mental health.

Providing a Healthy Outlet for Emotions 

At school, there are good days and bad. But kids don’t always have access to spaces to express these feelings. Engaging in music and arts gives students an indirect but important means to express their emotions. Music can make us feel something. And as a result, students can channel their feelings through a song or instrument to access moments of transcendent beauty and appreciation.

These experiences lift us out of the ordinary, making life feel lighter. The act of creating and performing music or art is cathartic, helping students process and release emotions that are difficult to articulate. It’s a healthy coping mechanism that helps reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression in kids. 

Extracurricular Activities Can Stave Off Boredom and Promote Social Behavior

It’s a rite of passage for every parent to hear their kids say, “I’m bored!” And this is usually the moment kids resort to technology (tablets and smartphones) to pass the time. And while technology isn’t the worst thing in the world, the evidence shows that time spent on digital devices directly correlates to increased levels of distress in kids. 

Teaching kids a creative skillset like playing a violin or practicing chord progressions on a keyboard empowers them to entertain themselves. It also promotes an important sense of competency that boosts self-esteem and helps them gain confidence and recognition in healthier ways than on social media. Recent studies corroborate these benefits, specifically from after-school programs

Building Resilience

Playing an instrument and reading sheet music requires discipline, focus, and perseverance—skills transferable to the rest of students’ academic careers. Including music and arts alongside the school curriculum has also been shown to enhance students’ motivation, engagement, and retention of information. 

By incorporating creativity into their learning process, students become active participants. This results in a deeper understanding and engagement with their education. It also teaches important life skills they will need for studying challenging subjects or material in college or encountering problems they will need to solve. 

Early Exposure to Music Promotes Brain Growth

One fascinating aspect of music education is how it changes the brain structure of students, even from a young age. Musicians’ brains show a larger corpus callosum than non-musicians, the area responsible for interconnection between hemispheres. This neuroplasticity is noticeable even from very early exposures to music in kids.

Studies like this show two important things: music instruments develop neural pathways that simply listening to music doesn’t. And differences in the brains of students who had no previous music training suggest that musical training is, in fact, responsible for these important brain changes.  

Music in Schools is Essential

Music in schools and arts education programs is essential for students’ mental health. These programs foster creativity and confidence and contribute to better mental health and emotional stability. They also positively impact academic performance, enhancing cognitive skills and promoting a holistic approach to education. Recognizing the importance of music and arts in schools gives students the tools to thrive academically, emotionally, and creatively. This ensures a brighter, more well-rounded future for kids. Contact us if you want to bring more after-school music and arts education to your school district!