Learning Music at a Young Age Has Life-long Benefits
Throughout my study of music and psychology I kept falling in love with the amazing connection between the two fields. So here’s some cool facts about what music can do for YOUR brain.
According to a recent study, learning music can have a positive effect on children in relation to attention disorders, behaviour or aggression issues, and even problems like anxiety and depression. The research team found that practicing music can even help children with memory skills, as well as organisational and planning processes. Sounds like a lot for just a few of hours practice a week doesn’t it?
The team said it was all due to the fact that playing music targets the very specific brain functions relating to problem solving and reasoning. An earlier study conducted in 1999, found that children who studied music had better results at school and were more likely to participate in their community. In fact researchers have determined that learning music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills far more than dance, theatre or sports (and if you are anything like me as a child, sports did nothing but bring embarrassment, shame and bruises…)
Additional life-long benefits of learning music at a young age include improved functioning in maths, reading and language skills. However perhaps the most empowering gains of all are the benefits of increased confidence and a musical imagination. And that is what we aim to foster in our students during their lessons with us.
We don’t put them into boxes and sort them according to age. We encourage all our young ones to appreciate the joys of music first. Through musical games which involve singing, clapping, laughter and lollies, our budding young musicians learn to appreciate the blends of rhythm and sounds, and learn that music is fun.
As they grow and mature musically, we teach them the basic structure of their instrument and introduce technique and musical structures. Then, when they are really comfortable, we encourage our students to develop their own sound and sense of creativity. We show them how they can use musical ‘rules’ to shape their music, or how they can break them into pieces to create something new and exciting and awesome.
Which ever way you look at it, the benefits of learning music at a young age are broad and clear and can result in life-long rewards. While giving your children an early start in music does not guarantee that they will continue practicing into adulthood, you can be assured that you will have given them a gift that will last their entire lives.
This post was written with the help of the amazing Monica Grant, to see more of her work visit: http://www.summersailstice.com/
Photo: One of our beautiful young students, photo taken from our collaboration with OneSeventeen Photography (www.oneseventeenphotography.com.au)