Why is Music Important?

Did you know that music making is part of what makes humans human? Every culture makes music. Not only that, every past culture has made music too. Musical instruments are amongst the oldest man-made objects ever found. For example, there are flutes around 37,000 years old and perhaps even older!

Compare this with reading and writing. The earliest forms of writing are no more than about 3500 years old. And many cultures of the world still do not read or write.

Or how about this? Scientists have recently discovered that music affects many parts of our brain very deeply (grown-ups can look at the book This is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin to find out more). But you don’t need to be a scientist to understand that! Trying singing ‘Happy Birthday’ or a Christmas song and you will understand. What do these tunes make you think of? How do they make you feel? You’ll be filled with all sorts of memories and feelings when you hear these tunes—many more than would if you simply said the words ‘birthday’ or ‘Christmas’.

Music gets under your skin. It creates strong feelings. And it creates strong memories.

Music is a language. It is a language for all humans. It is a language that is there when normal language is of little use.

In November 2009 the UK remembered two important events. One was the passing of the generation of soldiers who fought in World War One. The other was the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The first was very sad. The second was very happy. In both cases these events were remembered with music:

  1. The passing of the WW1 generation: A church service in Westminster Abbey, London.
  2. ‘For the Fallen’ sung by the choir of Westminster Abbey 11/11/09

  3. The fall of the Berlin Wall: A free concert by the rock band U2.

In fact there was music at the Berlin Wall on the very day it fell. On that day in 1989 people climbed onto the wall and burst into song! Nobody told them to sing. They just did it by themselves! Look at this picture to see for youself (click on the picture to see the singing more clearly):

Singing on the Berlin Wall in 1989

So why do these things happen? Why is there music at important occasions?

The answer is that music says things that cannot be said in words. We need music to say the things we cannot say any other way. If there is great joy, we need music. If there is great sadness, we need music. In fact, we need music whenever we have a great need to say something important (click here to read my own story).

So why is it important to learn about music?

Well, why is it important to learn to read and write? So we can communicate! The more we learn, the more we can say what we want to say. It’s the same with music. The more we learn about music, the more we will be able to say what we want to say in music. In other words, the more we learn about music, the more we will be able to say things that we cannot say in words. But that’s not all. The more we learn about music, the more we will also understand about what it means to be human.

Why is music especially important for kids?

Children’s brains are developing. Children’s brains are like sponges that soak up anything that’s going. That means children are much more ready to hear new things than adults. Many adults think that certain types of music (for example, heavy classical music) are not for children. In fact the opposite is often true. If an adult has not heard a particular type of music in childhood, then they will not normally like that music as an adult. This means they will ignore it. On the other hand, a child will just take in new music as yet another new experience in their lives.

In other words, the more types of music children hear, the more types of music they will like as adults. And the more types of music they like as adults, the more they will listen to. And the more types of music they will listen to, the more they will understand about the essential language of music itself!

Picture credits:
  1. Singing on the Berlin Wall in 1989. This photograph was taken on 10th November 1989 by Sue Ream of San Francisco, California, USA. This picture may be used freely providing one credits the photographer. Click here for the source of the image, along with the relevant copyright information.
Video credits:
  1. For The Fallen : Choir of Westminster Abbey. The Choir of Westminster Abbey sing the words of the Remembrance Day poem by Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen, to a setting by Douglas Guest. Taken from a service in Westminster Abbey to commemorate the passing of the last British veterans of World War One.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rahul 23rd September 2012

i liked it

2 Dima Mandryka 11th October 2012

i understand why alot of people learn music!

3 gurveen 14th October 2012

i now understand why music is so important.

4 Joey 15th October 2012

I find music a very interesting and heart-felt topic. When I hear it, I feel as if im walking on clouds. Music is my life and soul. I <3 MUsic.

5 Tevita Sekeni 22nd October 2012

I loved it!
Thanks, for sharing that:)

6 michael18 26th October 2012

cool, liked it

7 Olarel 14th January 2013

This is lovely

8 BAILEY 15th March 2013

I LOVE MUSIC….I PLAY THE FLUTE, VIOLIN, PIANO, AND GUITAR!!

9 Karishma 10th June 2013

I LOVE MUSIC

10 reign 22nd November 2013

love it

11 reign 22nd November 2013

thank you for putting this up helps alot

12 Ester Soares 5th February 2014

a very helpful share
thank you
ES

13 abigael 9th February 2014

I realy love music.thanks 4 sharing

14 vanshika 18th March 2014

i luv my music it always cheeres me up

15 Bidhur thami 10th May 2014

Thanx…itz vry important to knw for all the music lovers, Parents and students..and the people around the world.,
”music is one for all like the sky”

16 iballisticsquid 14th June 2014

I play the flute, ukelei , violin, piano and saxophone.

17 Retish 21st June 2014

I luv MUSIC… Thanx 4 sharing dis info

18 Babitha 30th June 2014

I REALLY LOVE MUSIC BECAUSE IT GIVES PLEASANT TO OUR MIND AFTER TIREDNESS.”FROM {SHIVAM}”DWARAKA NAGAR.NIZAMABAD

19 Popcornlover 23rd October 2014

I love this website,I love music and I always want to learn more about it!!!

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