Does music improve your personality?
Music Study & Socialization & Personality
Are Musicians Really Better Citizens?
Disregard the popular image of rappers with their ghetto blasters, terrorizing neighborhoods with eardrum-splitting cacophony. Consider instead our delightful school bands and orchestras… and ponder on whether those students might be becoming our best future citizens.
Unlikely as it may seem, recent scientific research suggests this hypothesis might actually be true. It appears studying music can, in fact, impact the development of the human personality, especially in the area of socialization. In particular, music education encourages self-discipline and diligence, traits which carry over into other areas.
According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as 'disruptive' (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as 'disruptive'.
Neurobiologist Norman Weinberger reports on another research study by Martin Gardiner of Brown University. According to Weinberger, writing in the Winter 2000 Issue of MuSICA Research Notes, Gardiner's study checked the relationship between arrest records of teenagers and their degree of involvement in music. He analyzed a large-scale data base that included information gathered over a period of many years for more than a thousand residents of Rhode Island.
Just over half, (54 percent), of households surveyed had a member who plays a musical instrument. And in 48 percent of households where at least one person played an instrument, there were two or more additional members who also played
Ninety-seven percent of respondents agreed that playing a musical instrument provides a sense of accomplishment and encourages expression, and 85 percent believe it makes someone smarter. An equal number regretted not learning to play an instrument and 67 percent said they would still like to learn.
Interestingly, the survey also showed that an increasing number of young people are becoming involved in music, with the percentage of people ages of 5 to 17 who play an instrument at 31 percent, up from 25 percent in 1985.
Of the total respondents a further 27 percent were between the ages of 18 to 24.
Most of those questioned began their music education before their teens with 64 percent saying they started music study between the ages of 5 to 11 and 18 percent between the ages of 12 to 14.
In his highly acclaimed book, A Users Guide to the Brain, Ratey John J, MD notes: "The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, style, rhythm, phrasing and feeling - training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attention skills, intelligence and an ability for self-knowledge and expression."
Good citizens require many of these same skills in order to live harmoniously with other human beings. So as you move to a new town or take up a new job, it could just be worth enquiring if your neighbors and colleagues are musicians.
improve your personality? - Part 1
Duane is a graduate of Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a BS & Masters Degree in Humanities (Music & English literature - a double major) and he is known as "the pianoman" -- the author of over 500 books, CD's and DVD's having to do with all aspects of piano playing. But degrees and education means nothing without the ability to teach so that the student can UNDERSTAND and then APPLY what he or she understands. Take one course and you'll immediately see for yourself why Duane's DVD and CD courses are "one of a kind" -- they actually get you UNDERSTANDING music and then show you -- clearly and plainly -- how to APPLY what you learn to your piano!
He has worked with many doctors and professional people who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend a scheduled lesson in a studio, because they can do it on their own time. He also works with church pianists and music directors to help them hone their skills, as well as beginners that don't know Middle C from Tweedle Dee, and everyone in-between.