Why Music Matters
Music helps us to make sense of the world. Through sound we can give an expressive shape to our experience. It is a pleasure and a joy for its own sake. The National Curriculum for music says, "As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world."
Recent research emphasises the benefits of learning music:
- Music aids the development of speech. Singing simple songs
teaches your child how language is constructed. According to Jessica
Pitt from the Pre-School Music Association: "Babies seem to learn best
when songs are experienced through their bodies. Movement and music
greatly enhance acquisition of language."
- Music helps children to learn maths. "When children learn
rhythm, they are learning ratios, fractions and proportions," says
Professor Gordon Shaw, University of California, Irvine, after his
study of seven year-olds in Los Angeles.
- Music enhances social skills. "Children who take part in
music develop higher levels of social cohesion and understanding of
themselves and others, and the emotional aspect of musical activities
seems to be beneficial for developing social skills like empathy," says
Dr. Alexandra Lamont, Lecturer in the Psychology of Music at the
University of Keele
- Music enhances your child's intellectual
development. Dr. Frances Rauscher, from the University of Wisconsin,
says that music "helps improve children's ability to reason abstractly,
by strengthening neural firing patterns of the brain that are relevant
to both musical and spatial cognition."
- Most music teachers will tell you that music encourages self-expression and self confidence. As a non-verbal language, music can convey a complexity of emotions, and offers a means of expression to a shy or diffident child who finds it hard to communicate through speech