The Benefits of Education through Music

Music is the best discovery of man. As one of the highest forms of expression, man was able to turn to music as his form of catharsis. Songs were written out of the deepest feelings and the best thoughts about life and love.

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Music is appreciated by people from all walks of life and all ages. By all ages, it means adults and kids alike. The benefits of music for adults are obvious. For kids, there are numerous special benefits of music and learning different instruments. At an early age, there are children who manifest great interest and talent when it comes to music. However, it does not mean that those who only show early interests are the only ones who must learn and enjoy the benefits.

  • Music education and learning how to play musical instruments develop the child’s left side of the brain which is involved in the processing of language. Also, it nurtures the child’s spatial intelligence since there is a link between music and this kind of intelligence. This intelligence is about identifying things that may come together to solve mathematical problems.
  • Music as a form of Art really helps kids grow up with creativity. Through art, they could think in all aspects and not merely search for one concrete answer. This is where critical thinking starts. There is also one study that shows how much it could help students develop special academic skills. The results state that kids who learn music excel in achievement tests in high school compared to those who do not.
  • Through music, a child could get easily exposed to different people, different cultures. This would allow them to know, discover, explore and understand other people and other cultures. This is early training for them to be exposed to what the world is.
  • Kids also get educated on how to build the craftsman in them. Moreover, in playing the instrument, mastery is a factor. That makes a mistake- really a mistake. With this, a student learns the value of consistent effort to achieve excellence or satisfaction. Learning how to play instruments in a group makes a kid learn the essence of teamwork.
  • Musical instruments will teach kids to actively participate in learning than sit down and observe only. Furthermore, it will enhance his self-expression. The most important thing is that kids learn to conquer their fears, show their talents, and share what they have. This is a foundation of better growth and development in the holistic sense.

Education has the most flexible range. As much as possible it could extend its arms on every aspect that may mold a person into somebody who would be of real life, living not just for his very self. But, for the world.


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Online Education Offers Unparalleled Learning Freedom

As the information age rolls on we are finding more and more universities that are willing to invest in the education of students who may not necessarily be in a position to attend classes at that particular university. The offerings are still somewhat limited but there are opportunities to earn associates, bachelor’s, and even master’s degrees strictly through online course work. This is something that was virtually unheard of even a few years ago.

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Today's students truly do have more options available to them than ever before if they are willing to invest the time and effort into their studies, there are few limits to the level of education you can receive, even if it has been years since you last attended a university or community college. Even those colleges and universities that do not offer full-fledged degree programs exclusively through online learning mediums are beginning to offer many courses online for students with busy schedules and lifestyles. This means that you now have the opportunity to combine distance or online learning with a few night or weekend courses in order to complete your degree even if you have a full-time day job and family that needs to see you at home on occasion.

Even if a degree is not something you are necessarily seeking you might be amazed at the wide array of courses that are available for those interested in increasing their depth of knowledge on different issues from the comfort of their own homes. I know that the idea of self-directed online learning opportunities appeals to me on many levels. These opportunities however are not necessarily a good idea for everyone. We all learn in different manners and some of us learn best by actually being in the classroom and hearing what has to be said or from hands-on experience. This type of learning is not necessarily possible when it comes to distance learning in an email or bulletin board type of environment, which is how many Internet classrooms operate.

Online learning is also not a good idea for those who aren't perfectly willing, able, and capable of holding themselves responsible for their learning. Face it, for some of us, it is much easier to get up and go to a classroom than it is to force ourselves to log on and pay attention at home. We all have areas in which our discipline is well in hand and others where we seem to have no discipline whatsoever. If you can't hold yourself on task or have difficulties not being distracted by the many other novel things there are to do online you might be best served through an actual classroom experience rather than a distance learning environment like those of online classes.

This is not meant to discourage you from distance learning or online classrooms. In fact, I think these are by far the best option for many working professionals who are seeking to advance their careers, knowledge, and/or earning potential. You will not need to feel as though you are choosing between the future needs of yourself and your family and the limited time you have with your family already. You can schedule around your family time and make the sacrifice when it comes to sleep.

With online classes, it doesn't matter if you are in your pajamas or in a suit and tie you can still do the work you need to do online and no one will be the wiser. You also might find that you can squeeze your education into your lunch hour, particularly if you can type and chew at the same time. The truth is that online classes offer superior flexibility to those hoping to further their education. Whether you are hoping to earn a degree or simply wish to broaden your horizons by taking a few online classes, you just might find that the possibilities are limitless once you begin taking these courses from home.


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The Dollars and Cents of a Four-Year Degree

When it comes down to the importance of an education there is no denying that the longer you stay in school the better off you are when it comes to earning potential over the course of your lifetime. Recent estimates have presented some rather astonishing figures to support these claims, however, and I for one think they are well worth mentioning.

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Let's discuss first things first. A high school diploma will net the average citizen $200,000 additional dollars of lifetime income on average. This is one small baby step when it comes to the educational process. Some college, even without a degree will even increase that figure an additional $150,000 for a total of $350,000. If this isn't enough to convince you however try the facts and figures that are associated with the additional earning potential that a four-year degree introduces: $500,000. This addition makes a total of $850,000 more over the course of a lifetime in earning potential. I don't know about you but I find those figures to be quite a nice motivator for going back and finishing a degree.

While a person's education may not be an accurate indicator of his or her actual ability it is often used in the business world to narrow down a growing field of applicants for a sadly stagnate number of positions across the country. There are things you just can't see on a piece of paper and ability and capabilities are among those things. Businesses need a defining factor by which they narrow down the field of potential employees and that defining characteristic is often a college degree in the field of business or a complimentary major course of study.

While this may not seem fair to many who have the practical skills companies are seeking employees that can fill multiple roles in order to eliminate positions that have been occupied in the past. For this reason, they want business people who have technical skills and a college education provides a brief introduction to many skills that are useful in these situations. Unfortunately, the only way to know whether or not you have these specific skills is if you list them on your resume while those who have a four-year degree are believed to have them by the merit of their educations.

The earning potential alone should be enough to turn your head when it comes to the importance of earning a college degree though there are many more excellent reasons to pursue the completion of your degree. If you haven't considered some of the other wonderful reasons for returning to college and getting your degree, perhaps the reasons below will provide a little additional motivation.

1) Challenge.

There is very little in life that offers the challenge of returning to college after an absence. It is a frightening prospect for many and yet can be equally as exciting. You will find that the constant exposure to academic debate is a great way to feed your mind and open your eyes to new ideas. Challenge your preconceptions and challenge the limits of your own experiences by opening up your mind to the thoughts and ideas of others.

2) Learn New Skills.

There is never a bad time to begin learning new skills no matter what they say about old dogs and new tricks. The truth is that as long as you open your mind to learning you are feeding it and that is a great thing.

3) Career advancement.

Whether you realize it or not, a college degree is one of the quickest paths you can take to career advancement.

If the money wasn't enough to convince you of the impact that a four-year degree can make in your life perhaps the reasons mentioned above were enough to do the trick. Whether or not you realize how much a degree can affect your life the truth of the matter is that it can improve so many things about your life and how you view yourself and the world around you. Now is the perfect time to go back to school and earn your degree.


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Student Loans Should be Last Resort

Student loans are both a blessing and a curse to college students all across the country. On one hand, student loans allow you to have the money you need in many cases to attend college at all. On the other hand, most college students, particularly those entering college for the first time have inflated opinions of their starting salaries upon graduation and the bills they will face while living in the real world. In fact, most freshmen college students have no real concept of the limits of money in which to base their decisions as to whether or not they can realistically expect to repay those funds once they've graduated college.

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The sad truth is that many college graduates find that for the first 10-15 years after they have graduated college, they are essentially indentured servants to their student loan debts. There are many reasons for this and different college graduates will find different things about their student loans when the appropriate time comes. First of all, those taking out student loans need to understand that a college degree does not guarantee a high starting salary. Beyond that, a college degree is no guarantee that there will be employers lining up to take your name and number upon graduation. The truth is that most college grads take anywhere from 6 months to a year to find a job in their fields and even then the starting salaries are often far less than anticipated.

Part of the blame for over-inflated expectations is the fault of universities attempting to validate their high tuition rates by displaying average starting salaries of only those that have successful offers in the field of study immediately upon graduation (which usually indicates a history of working with the company or another company as an intern prior to being hired) and not those students who have no prior work experience in their chosen fields. Part of the expectations is students reading job advertisements for experienced workers in a field and assuming that an education will provide the experience that employers require. Regardless of the reason, most starting salary expectations are not realistic in light of the current market.

The problem is that for many students a student loan is the difference between receiving a college education or not receiving one. For these students, there is no option. The price they will pay (with interest) for having student loans in order to get through the educational process will repay itself over the course of a lifetime if they are wise about making the necessary payments and stay on top of things such as consolidation loans and making payments on time.

Student loans are a great tool for those who have no other options when it comes to attending and affording to attend a university. On the other hand, for those who do not have an absolute need for the funds a student loan can provide they can prove to be problematic when trying to establish your career and your lifestyle upon graduation. This is a tool for education that should be used sparingly at best.

Whether or not you choose to take out student loans in order to fund your college education it is a good idea if you exhaust all other available resources first. Check out your options for grants, scholarships, and work-study programs before leaping into student loans to pay for your education.


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Scholarships are Excellent Source of Financial Aid

If you are getting ready to attend college I'm sure you are wondering how on earth you are going to pay for it. Even graduating high school students are more and more often finding that they need to contribute in some manner to their college educations. Whether you will be taking out student loans, applying for scholarships or grants, or praying for some sort of work-study program to come along there are a few things you need to know about financial aid at the college level.

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First of all, financial aid can be a tricky beast. For this reason, it is best to apply early and keep records of everything you send to the financial aid office. The information age has made things easier on one level and yet has eliminated the personal factor on other levels. However, if you own a personal computer you will find that the Internet is an excellent source for financial aid and scholarship information. While the government offers a wide array of financial aid resources, there are many opportunities for you to get an education that does not revolve around government funding. You simply need to spend the time finding them.

Your local community is an excellent resource and a good place to start when it comes to financial opportunities for those preparing to attend college. Civic organizations and local businesses like to give out scholarships to promising students. Many of these have very specific requirements and you should pay close attention so that you meet the qualifications before applying. There is no sense in wasting your time and that of the scholarship committee by applying for scholarships for which you do not qualify. Scholarships are preferable to student loans, as they do not need to be repaid. This is one of the most important things you need to understand when seeking financial aid for college. Loans are killers to your income for the first several years after graduation. The fewer loans you can manage to take out for your education the better. They are however there for those who couldn't possibly afford an education without them.

If you don't find the scholarships you are hoping to at the local level, you should check with the county in which you live, your state, and the school you plan to attend. There are excellent resources for each of these when it comes to financial aid. Within the college you will be attending you should consult your department head (for your chosen major) in order to see if there are any scholarships available. You will be surprised at the number of scholarships for which you may qualify. Apply for all that you meet the requirements in order to apply. Competition for these scholarships is often fierce but you never know when your letter of application might spark the interest of one of the panel members or you simply might be the most impressive candidate.

When applying for scholarships remember to read all the instructions carefully, make sure you have all the necessary documentation, and that you have checked and rechecked everything for accuracy and clarity. It takes time to make corrections and they can often be the difference between your being awarded a scholarship and the honor of going to another student. Scholarships are by far the best route to go when it comes to applying for financial aid but you should be careful that you aren't placing all your eggs in one basket. Try for multiple scholarships, work-study programs, grants, and if necessary loans in order to achieve your educational goals.


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