Music the creation of first primitive musical instruments

Music is one of the forms of art that has become an indispensable part
of every individual’s life. In fact, commencing with the creation of first
primitive musical instruments by our ancestors and ending up with complex
modern instruments and technologies like synthesizers and computer programs
that scores sounds, humankind was always inclined to be surrounded by music. As
Levitin states “Whenever humans come together for any reason, music is
there: weddings, funerals, graduation from college, men marching off to war,
stadium sporting events, a night on the town, prayer, a romantic dinner,
mothers rocking their infants to sleep … music is a part of the fabric of
everyday life” ( Levitin, 2010). Today music has already found its place
even in health care aspects of life with the advent of music therapy that is
used for improving mental and physical health. Particularly, numerous
researches that have been conducted among children and young people in order to
evince effects of music have shown that active engagement with music has major
positive impacts for human. This essay will focus on beneficial effects of
music on the development of language skills, literacy, creativity and
mathematical skills.

First of all, music is considered to have a significant contribution to
the development of language skills.  In
fact, music consists of genuine information in informal language which is
natural to the ear and provides a great deal of opportunity for person to
improve listening, reading and speaking skills. According to the research of  Edinburgh University  (Ludke, Ferreira and Overy, 2013), adults who
learned foreign language by singing words and phrases, subsequently achieved
twice as good results in using them in speech. Moreover, music may improve skills
in listening comprehension of foreign language learners by making acquainted
with new vocabulary, idioms, expressions and pronunciations. Therefore, most
researchers who find out correlations between music and language acquisition
assert that music should be integrated in language learning processes as
associating verbal practice to musical information may be more effective for
memorization. Additionally, Mora (2000, p152) argues that creating musical
atmosphere in language teaching process “provide
a rich environment of sound and cuts out other auditory distractions”.
Eventually, studies carried out among children have proven that early
engagement with music has a notable impact on their learning of second
language.  According to Hallam (2010)
musical training and abilities lead to the enhancement of brain’s early
linguistic encoding of sounds.  Pcynissrcioglu,
Durgunoglu and Uney-Kusefoglu (2002) who worked with preschoolers report that children
with higher musical aptitude level were more successful in manipulating sounds
of speech.  Additionally, it is
irrefutable that infants firstly learn the sounds of language rather than its
meaning, and therefore they may be able to imitate its rhythm and musical
contour before saying the words. For these reasons, music can be considered as
a key factor contributing to the preparation of children for genuine language
and development of individual’s language perception.

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One of the positive impacts of music
is the enhancement of literacy. The role which music plays in language
acquisition contributes to the development of reading skills. A number of
research studies have found that children who attend musical instructions show
a tendency to score higher in comparison to those who do not participate.
According to Butzlaff (2000) about 25 studies among over 500,000 students found
strong association between musical instruction and results of reading
comprehension tests. One of the ways in which extensive active music engagement
improves reading performance is through the improved verbal memory. Verbal
memory is a vital aspect of children learning to read as it will be of help in
reading printed texts with comprehension. 
Ho, Cheng and Chan (2003) worked with ninety 6-15 years old children
come to a determination that those with music training had substantially better
verbal memory and operating holdup. Moreover, musical skills have strong
correlations with phonological and phonemic awareness which are directly linked
with literacy. In order to become successful readers it is extremely important
for children to have an ability to recognize that words are composed of
segregated sound units and use this knowledge in reading and building of words.
The results of research which is examined phonological awareness, musical
performance, and early reading skills of 100 preschooler children show that
music skills strongly correlated with both , phonological awareness and reading
skills (Anvari et al, 2002). 
Furthermore, another study (Piro and Ortiz, 2009) focused on the impacts
of learning the piano on the vocabulary development and verbal sequencing in
second grade infants. In this experiment 46 children had piano lessons during
three consecutive years and 57 did not. According to results, the music
learning group had better scores of word sequencing and vocabulary.

The evolvement of creativity is
another positive influence that music has on person.  Creativity is one of the most crucial tools
that lead to success. Majority of researchers that focused on the effects of
music on creativity elicited the relationships between processing music and stimulating
the creativity on person.  According to
Hallam (2010) music students of high-schools and universities showed higher
scores on tests of creativity compared to the non-music majors.  Besides, Einstein who is considered to be one
of the most creative geniuses of the world recognized an indefinable connection
between music and his science. Consequently, he frequently applied music in
order to help with his creative process. In addition, the Director
of the Music Intelligence Lab at Georgia Tech, Parag Chordia claims that music
is an essential contributor to the creativity development and cultivation (Dogra,
2017). Musical training, especially creating music and improvisation are the
processes that are responsible for activating several areas of brain and help
to improve the capacity of creative thinking. Particularly, listening to music
may also greatly facilitate relaxation which is known as a key to creativity.  Lehrer (2012,p) insist that it is more likely
to be directed to “the spotlight of attention inward ”  when the person’s mind is at ease.  Likewise, one of the key components of
creative process -imagination is also stimulated by music listening.   Being
immersed in beautiful music and listening favorite song promote mood shift,
create images in mind and makes people open to new ideas (Levitin, 2007).

Finally, active engagement with
music leads to the improvement of mathematical performance. It has been always
conjectured that strong relationship exists between music and mathematics.  Major researches showed that children who are
exposed to musical training tend to develop their cognitive skills. However, the
influences of music on one’s ability to do mathematics are likely to be
dependent on the musical engagement type and length of time which is spent on
them. Study showed that students who were involved in rhythm instrument
activities achieved higher scores on part-whole mathematics problems than those
participating in piano and singing instructions (Hallam, 2010). Whitehead (2001)
found that among middle- and high-school students who were placed in 3 groups:
groups with high and moderate musical involvement, and no treatment group, the
group with high involvement gained greater results in mathematics. Specifically,
the impacts of music on mathematical skills are occasionally termed the Mozart
effect. This term refers to the results of experiment according to which was
discovered that listening to compositions of Mozart is responsible for the
short-term improvement of spatial-temporal reasoning. Spatial-temporal
reasoning is important in mathematics, especially in geometry and special
calculation types where the ability to transformation of images in space and
time is required. Therefore, individuals with the greater ability in
spatial-temporal reasoning possess better mathematical skills.

 To sum up, active engagement with music is
responsible for the development of several skills on human such as language
learning, reading and writing, creative thinking and mathematical performance.
Authentic information that is offered by music and the informality of its
language provide person with the opportunity to learn and memorize new words,
phrases, idioms and as a result develop speaking skills.  Especially for children there might be
benefits of music for the language skills enhancement that is consequently
impact on literacy. In particular, the opportunity of involving coordination rhythmically
and improving verbal memory are also important for the literacy skills. The creativity
is another skill that can be improved by music-related activities such as
improvisation, creation of new sounds and listening to music. Relaxation and imagination
are the keys of creativity that might be caused by listening of songs. Furthermore,
spatial reasoning which is required in mathematics is an area of intelligence that
can be increased by music. Ultimately, music is a powerful tool 


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