For the Whole of Their Life.

Blog: Music Education

Posted 9th May 2019
By mandy eggins

2 C5 A0886

In the recent holiday I read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled: “Music key to widening educational opportunity.” It commenced with the following sentence: “Music education is vital when it comes to engaging young people with their learning.” It went on to site research which found student engagement, learning outcomes and social wellbeing were all improved as a result of student exposure to music in schools.

A few years ago I invested a considerable amount of time researching this very intentionally. Some of the papers that I read captured my attention.

  • First-graders who participated in special music classes as part of an arts study saw their reading skills and math proficiency increase dramatically.
  • Multiple studies indicate that early music instruction is linked to significant improvements in students’ spatial reasoning abilities.
  • Researchers have found a correlation between three or more years of instrumental music training and enhanced auditory discrimination, fine motor skills, vocabulary, and nonverbal reasoning.
  • Children with music training had significantly better verbal memory than those without such training, and the longer the training, the better the verbal memory.
  • Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardised tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district.

It was this research that inspired the introduction of the first stage of our revised music offering. In 2017, all students in Years 3 to 6 who wanted to learn a musical instrument were provided with their instrument of choice and group lessons at no cost. This was made possible by the generosity of the PTF. I am delighted to announce that the second stage of this music offering has now commenced. All students in our Junior School will receive intentional music instruction (50 minutes per week) taught by Mrs Jane Tibbs. I am thrilled that we are now in a position to incorporate this into the learning for our youngest students and am excited to see the fruits of this in the years ahead.

For those that are interested in exploring the music opportunities within our school further, I encourage you to contact our Head of Creative and Performing Arts, Mrs Priscilla Blake.

Dr Timothy Petterson

* Photo Credit: Benjamin Freeman

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