I came across this little beauty today – 11 Facts about Music Education. It has compiled some well-known side-effects of having a sound musical education; children who study music score better in English and maths tests, are more likely to be high earners, and are less likely to use drugs. Even in early childhood the effects of a musical education are wide-ranging and profound; children who have a good musical education have a larger vocabulary and more advanced reading skills, and show greater brain development and memory improvement.
Learning a musical instrument also gives you social skills – students who study the arts have higher levels of self-confidence and work better in teams. They are more cooperative with their peers and teachers and are more likely to stay in school and pursue further education. Studying the arts also equips students to better express themselves and their ideas.
All of this is incredibly interesting, but even without the ‘added benefits’ I think that music education has an intrinsic value of its own; the pleasure of playing an instrument and the joy of having a deep understanding and appreciation of music make any music education a worthy pursuit, one worth promoting in schools and communities everywhere.