Music, as a form of art, has been through the centuries a way of human expressionand an integral part of civilization and human history. Meanwhile, the music education was recognized since ancient times as a fundamental part of the education of young people.
Nevertheless , in today's era, it is essential to redefine the role of music education in the training of so-called"western world" . This is because practically the educational system of most countries is focused on " basic subjects ", which are language, science and mathematics (Hodges, 2005). Gardner notes thatin school there is considerable emphasis in language acquisition , while the music occupies a low position in our culture , so the musical illiteracy is acceptable (Gardner,1985). This is not the case in other cultures , for example , in race "Anang" of Nigeria , where emphasis is given in the learning of music. The children of this race since they are one week old are imported from their parents in music and later , in their two years , enter groups where they learn basic musical skills such as the ability for singingand playing instruments , resulting in their five years singing hundreds of songs and playing various instruments (Gardner, 1985).
In contrast , in Western culture , as Hodges mentions in his article, which supports the systematic music education , there are many who , though recognizing music as a unique experience , are wondering why it is necessary for the education of all children (Hodges , 2005 ) . Almost all children come into contact every day with music in extra - school conditions , for example , listening to music CD or via television and film . Why, then , the music has to be included dynamically in the school curriculum ; (Hodges, 2005).
In the 80s, Gardner presented the , well- known , theory of multiple intelligences , according to which, human intelligence is not a single function, but there are many different forms of intelligence , independent and equally important. Among these forms of intelligence there is alsothe music intelligence , which is not less important than the linguistic or logical - mathematical intelligence (Gardner, 1985). Based on this theory , the school education should be based on all types of intelligence and notonly on linguistic and logical - mathematical intelligence , as it usually does.
Why Music is important in education?
Music is a form of non verbal communication and expression and therefore its strength lies on the fact that it helps to express what is difficult or impossible to say with words (Hodges,2005).
The aesthetic pleasure derived from perceptual or productive musical experience is another important function of music , closely related to the emotional dimension.
Music contributes to the spiritual development of the child and it may have beneficial effects on learning and school success. In the 60s, Gordon (1968) and Moore (1966) came to the conclusion thatsmart people are not necessarily musicians , but musicians are certainly smart ( at Peery and Peery, 1987). Recent research by Schlaug et al ( 2005 ) showed that music education has beneficial effects on cognitive development of children .
Many studies have shown the advantages of using music in learning a language , both mother tongue and a second one. Hurwitz et al ( 1975 ) reported improvement in reading skills of primary school children that participated in the Kodaly method ( at Peery and Peery, 1987).
In conjunction with the move, the music as an activity cancontribute to physical development , as it offers excellent ways for children to respond to sounds with their whole body.
Many are those who support that music as a method of insight can be a guide for the inner world and the psyche of the human being.
Music is one of the arts that can play an important role in the socialization process of children . In a comparative study (Forrai, 1997), it has beenfound that children who participated regularly in music activities (experimental group) were better than children who had no musical experience ( control group ) in their social interactions with other people , while simultaneously flaunted positive emotional reactions more often (Forrai, 1997).
Music is an integral part of human culture and contributes to its continuity and stability , as itis a part of the collective identity of its members and it is recorded from generation to generation in history and memories .
Thus, it seems that the need for music education is no longer doubted as a target worthy of inclusion in the school curriculum.