When it comes time to cut school funds, one of the first programs to go is often music. Yet, researchers believe that the benefits music has on brain development—especially in young children—are crucial.
A study conducted by Dr. Virginia Penhune at Concordia University revealed that between the ages of 6 and 8, musical training positively affects brain development in young children, resulting in long-term benefits in motor abilities and brain structure. Because learning an instrument requires coordination between hands, eyes, and ears, the child benefits from a stronger connection between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. As a result, listening and communication skills prove to be stronger into adulthood.*
Educators are very aware of the benefits associated with school music programs—especially those with an EdS in Early Childhood Education. An EdS degree, also known as an Education Specialist degree, can be earned online or in a traditional campus setting. It is a post-master’s degree, designed for educators who wish to earn additional credentials and expertise in less time than it takes to earn a doctoral or PhD degree. One of the main benefits of an EdS degree is that your coursework can potentially transfer into a doctoral or PhD degree program later on. Walden University offers an online EdS in Early Childhood Education, which is a great fit for educators who wish to be advocates for important child development initiatives, such as keeping music programs alive in our schools. Specifically, the coursework includes the following topics:
EdS degree holders—and other professionals who may be qualified to evaluate early childhood programs— would appreciate the National Association for Music Education’s list of reasons why music programs in schools are so important:†
Because school music programs have been linked to improved learning, there are many who believe school music programs could help to close the achievement gap between low-income students and the more affluent students whose families pay for afterschool music lessons.
If you’re interested in an education career where you can contribute to the evaluation of school programs that aid in child development, consider earning an EdS in Early Childhood Education from Walden University.
*Stacey Boyd, Extracurriculars Are Central to Learning, U.S. News & World Report Op-Ed, on the Internet at www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2014/04/28/music-art-and-language-programs-in-schools-have-long-lasting-benefits.
†National Association for Music Education, 20 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools, on the Internet at www.nafme.org/20-important-benefits-of-music-in-our-schools.
Walden offers both state-approved educator licensure programs as well as programs and courses that do not lead to licensure or endorsements. Prospective students must review their state licensure requirements prior to enrolling. For more information, please refer to www.WaldenU.edu/educlicensure.
Prospective Alabama students: Contact the Teacher Education and Certification Division of the Alabama State Department of Education at 1-334-242-9935 or www.alsde.edu to verify that these programs qualify for teacher certification, endorsement, and/or salary benefits.
Prospective Washington state students are advised to contact the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction at 1-360-725-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether Walden’s programs in the field of education are approved for teacher certification or endorsements in Washington state. Additionally, teachers are advised to contact their individual school district as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.