Musical Background Enhances Student Performance In High School


Eloy Kim, Sophomore Staff Writer

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Without music, life would be a mistake.”

You’d be hard-pressed to find a musician who has never heard of the above quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, for millions of musicians, both past and present, have contributed part of their lives in backing up this claim.  From classical legends, Mozart and Bach, to popular contemporary artists such as Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande, musicians have contributed immensely to the world through music.  Not only has music changed the listeners positively, but it has also transformed its performers into better people—people such as the musicians of Hubbard High School.

As it pertains to student performance in schools, having a musical background can be the key to success in high school and life beyond it. Two students from Hubbard High School, Maggie Lewis and Declan O’Hara, reflect how their musical background helped them in school.

“For me, music is everything,” said Maggie Lewis, a sophomore who plays for the Youngstown Youth Orchestra, Stambaugh Youth Concert Band, and marching band. “Music has helped me calm down during school; when I get stressed, I simply think about the piece (a musical sheet) that I am working on for a few seconds, then I should be calm enough to try the problem again.”  Declan O’Hara, who plays the violin and the French Horn, said, “Music has always been an important part of my life. It was a way for me to express myself in a way that not a lot of other things could do.” Declan continues to say that “music can calm me down no matter how I’m feeling and allow me to do what I need to get done.”   The testimony of these students shows that music can help students relax and calm down in the stressful period of high school. It also shows that music helps students express themselves, a quality that is scarcely found in many modern teenagers.

An online article by the National Association for Musical Ed suggests that, besides the ones mentioned above, there are 18 other ways music can enhance student performance. These include mastery of memorization, emotional development, discipline, a building of imagination and intellectual curiosity, to name a few.  These essential qualities will not only assist students in high school but also for the rest of their lives.

Granted, there are other ways students can obtain these important traits stated above. For example, an athlete can learn discipline through intense training, and a student can improve expressing oneself through the Speech & Debate club.  When it comes to overall benefits, however, music is the seed that can reap the most benefits, regardless if you wish to be a professional musician or not. The full extent of music’s impact is often overlooked, for it affects everything people do. If these musicians were asked how it feels to actually generate music, they would most likely describe it as Confucius did thousands of years ago: “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” For music makes not only a better person but also a happier one.