“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything.”Plato
You may have heard people talking in recent years about music education being in decline as a subject area in schools across the UK. But why does it matter? Why is music education so important? Well, music education offers a wide range of benefits beyond developing a musical skill.
Read on to find out how learning music effects your child’s overall development and why it’s so important.
What Benefits Does Music Offer?
Studies have shown that learning music can have a range of positive effects on children, including:
- Improved reading & language skills
- Higher achievement
- Better personal & social skills
- Improved health & wellbeing
So How Does it Work?
Here’s some information on how music is connected with your child’s development:
Reading & Language Skills
How on earth could learning music help with reading? Well, music plays a major role in developing the processing systems involved with learning to understand speech sounds and patterns. In other words, learning a melody or rhythm uses the same parts of the brain as learning to speak and read. So practicing music alongside learning to speak and read can help your child to develop much quicker!
There is lots of evidence to show that learning music is connected to higher achievement. But how? Well, we already know that learning music can help develop the brain. But it also allows children to develop something Angela Duckworth categorises as ‘Grit’. Practicing an extra-curricular activity in the long term helps children to develop a positive relationship with hard work. There is evidence that this carries through to their academic achievements, and often their life satisfaction as adults.
Personal & Social Skills
So we’ve heard how music can improve children’s academic progress, but many would argue that personal and social skills are just as important! Well the good news is that music can help with that too! Not only does it give children fantastic opportunities to collaborate and meet new people, it also helps to develop their self-identity, confidence and emotional intelligence! These skills are essential and the earlier they develop, the better.
Health & Wellbeing
Health and wellbeing is of course at the heart of children’s development, but how does music come into it? Well for a start, learning music has been proven to reduce stress and elevate mood. This looks after children’s mental health, which is essential as they develop. Learning to play an instrument also helps to improve children’s fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are necessary for everyday actions like buttoning clothing, turning pages and using computer keyboards.
Is Music Education Being Downgraded at Your School?
Although music is part of the national curriculum for children aged 5-14, it has become limited in many schools. The focus is on subjects like maths and English, and as a result, music education suffers.
Does your child attend a school where music is not a priority? Do you want them to have access to the benefits listed above? Talk to your child about what type of instrument might be fun to try and make an enquiry with a private music teacher.
“The power of music: Its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people” by Susan Hallam of University College London