MUF655: Why are creative abilities being neglected in today’s society? Some claim that music education is a waste of money and time: Research Project Case Study, UTM, Malaysia

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MUF655: Research Project

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Date

09/05/2023

Why are creative abilities being neglected in today’s society? Some claim that music education is a waste of money and time, that it is noisy and distracting, and that it takes time away from academic subjects. Music has always been essential to education for students. Even so, a lot of the music produced nowadays is not really “music to our ears” because it is too loud, has bad lyrics, and is not particularly comforting or good for us.

Some music that is produced is highly beneficial to us as people, for example, the good use of lyrics and the meaning of the song, but this type of bad lyrics music has no emotional or intellectual significance. A way to express oneself, find inner calm, and even a means of transporting unfavorable feelings and emotions are all possible with music. Since music can function as a kind of communication, psychologists often relate it to speech.

Music is considerably more eloquent and not limited to any particular language. Speech is boring compared to music. In order for children to fully comprehend the language of music and benefit from it, music should be taught to children in the same way that children’s native language is.

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The influence of music on brain development has been the subject of a large number of contemporary neuroscientific studies. Neuroscientists discovered that the brains of musicians differed from those of non-musicians in terms of their anatomy and functions. Their investigations revealed that not only did musicians’ brains differ in appearance, but they also performed better.

Musicians have highly developed memory systems, high executive function levels, and the ability to think creatively and successfully solve puzzles. A set of mental abilities known as executive function are utilized to solve complicated problems comprising logical, intellectual, strategic, and emotional components. According to neuroscientists, learning music improves children’s general cognitive abilities. Additionally, they discovered that students who participate in regular musical activities before the age of seven can benefit the most.

According to studies, different elements of development are facilitated by early music-making activities, making music one of the most powerful influences on brain development at this critical stage. An aural, visual, and kinaesthetic learning experience, the music incorporates all three of these senses.

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The brain is also a multisensory organ, which may help to explain some of the amazing advantages of development. Music stimulates all three cortices of the brain which are motor, visual, and auditory. The corpus callosum, which connects the left and right halves of the brain, appears to be larger among musicians.

According to a study by Harvard neuroscientist Gottfried Schlaug and his team, studying music before the age of seven strengthens the brain connections located in the corpus callosum, facilitating communication between the two hemispheres.

Higher executive function is a result of faster communication and more innovative pathways made possible by a larger corpus callosum (IQ) (Schlaug. G et. al, 1995). Neuroscientists refer to this as the “musician’s advantage” since studies in the field of neuroscience show that learning music improves overall cognitive performance.

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These results imply that musical training can enhance neural activity throughout critical phases of auditory brainstem development and that brainstem plasticity was most pronounced in the youngest musicians, those between the ages of 2 and 5.

Music’s effect has been compared to “fireworks going off in the brain” by Anita Collins, a researcher in neuroscience and music education at the University of Canberra. After examining the results of numerous neuroscience investigations on the “musician’s advantage,” she came to the conclusion that “music education is the key to boosting literacy and numeracy skills”.

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According to the research, children who participate in music education have greater levels of cognitive ability particularly when it comes to language development and numerical problem-solving. It can also fix the cognitive problems associated with disability. Neuroscience also shows that all children are born with the natural ability to learn music in neural pathways (Collins. A, 2014). These abilities include maintaining the beat, mastering rhythm, and recalling sound sequences, patterns of pitch, tempo, and dynamics.

Music is important in that it helps students with science and mathematics. Students can learn to count, keep a steady beat, multiply, and divide, for instance. As students learn, which may result in composing, they use existing information to determine what else might sound nice together. With that being said, it is unquestionably time for neuroscience to be acknowledged as a method of guiding early childhood practice.

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