Music has many mental and social benefits for students

On the first-ever Music Education Day in Saskatchewan, educators and psychologists highlight the many benefits music has on the minds of students.

Proclaimed by the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association (SMEA), the day aims to highlight the importance of music in schools.

“Music is in every building and is very important to every student’s life,” said SMEA President Katlyn Redding.

“We have to do a fabulous job, like today, of defending and showing everyone that it’s there.”

Redding said music gives many students a sense of community they might not otherwise find at school.

“Inside the music room, the music room, the drama club – the music in particular – is a home for children. They find a place to belong and they find people like them,” Redding said.

Psychologist Devin Seghers says science has proven the effects of music on brain development.

“A student who learns a musical instrument, or takes up music or choir, that for the brain prevents mental anguish later in life, especially during adolescence. It relieves anxiety,” he said.

“We found that they are also a full year ahead academically compared to their peers who did not enroll in music.”

Some educators, including Jennifer McAllister, say music has grown in Saskatchewan schools in recent years.

“Really quality music programs and really qualified music teachers have a lot of resources at their fingertips,” she said.

“[Music] is good for us all our lives, so an investment in the music education of young people is an investment in the well-being of people throughout their lives.

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