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  1. ComprehendingLearning to perceive and derive meaning from musical sounds – for example, to identify a musical theme – sharpens your ability to comprehend abstractions.
  2. Solving Problems.  The ability to understand a problem and reach an appropriate solution is one of the most important skills you can learn.  Learning the basics of musical language, such as harmony, or interpreting a work through performance teaches this skill.
  3. Reasoning Logically.  Applying particular lessons to other problems and situations requires sound reasoning.  When you learn to analyze a musical work from a cultural, structural, or historical perspective, or to improvise within a certain musical style, both inductive and deductive reasoning grow stronger.
  4. Making Value Judgments.  Learning to comprehend, consider, and evaluate in music can help you make informed decisions in other aspects of life.  Discriminating between great and lesser works or justifying musical choices in compositions can teach you how to make and uphold value judgments.
  5. Using Symbols.  The ability to use symbols distinguishes the human race among all forms of life.  Learning to read, write, and interpret musical notation provides access to a nonverbal world of thought and strengthens the use of other symbol systems as well, such as mathematics or language.
  6. Conceptualizing.  You learn to classify and generalize by learning to identify different types and styles of music, to recognize how different cultures use music for personal expression, and to recognize common elements in different works.
  7. Communicating.  Perhaps the greatest gift of music is its ability to cultivate our feelings and thoughts through nonverbal means.  Being able to express those feelings and thoughts – and to respond to them in others – is part of every successful program of music study and indispensable in your total development.

The message is clear:  a well-organized, sustained education in music gives you intellectual and creative advantages that last a lifetime.

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