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01 Jun 2015

Music Prepares Young Learners for Classroom Success

Published by Wai Yan Yip

“Music education does not just make children more musical; it unleashes their creative powers.” Richard Gill OAM, internationally renowned conductor and educator

Young children thrive on music. Parents around the world entertain their babies through music – rocking them to sleep, singing lullabies and making them laugh with nursery rhymes. Both parents and early years educators know instinctively what scientists have now proven: music is one of the best vehicles for learning in early childhood development.

As part of the Australian International School (AIS)’s Inventors and Mentors program, Music Director of the Victorian Opera Richard Gill OAM visited AIS to work with teachers and students to share his philosophies on the impact of music on creativity and learning and the value of music in education.

Why Music Matters 

“A truly educated mind has had music as part of its education. Every child…should have an opportunity to have a truly educated mind,” says Mr Gill. 

Neuroscientists, psychologists and early childhood experts have demonstrated that music not only brings children joy, but can stimulate development in every area of the brain and benefit children at many levels:

Sharpened memory: Children learn to memorize both physical movements to make music, as well as how to read music, improving their general memory capacity. Mr Gill explains that children can subsequently build a vocabulary of sounds and ideas which they can use in their own compositions.

Early literacy: Creating connections between sounds and notes on paper allows young learners to gain the phonological processing and comprehension skills essential to reading.

Motor development: “All [music] learning should be done in conjunction with movement from a very early age,” shares Mr Gill. Children develop gross motor skills by moving and dancing to music, while also developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills by using complex finger movements to play instruments.

Focus and discipline: Little ones improve their attention span, focus and discipline as they must set aside time to practice and face the challenge of learning to master playing their instrument.

Logic and reasoning: “[Children] learn how pattern and repetition work in music,” says Mr Gill. Pattern-recognition skills are vital to solving math problems. In addition, the left side of the brain, which is related to reasoning, is better developed with music as songs help to imprint information on young minds.

Creativity: Learning music helps children to think creatively, a vital skill when it comes to problem solving, thinking outside the box and understanding that there can be more than one solution to a problem.

Music education is a vital component of the AIS core and co-curriculum, beginning in the early childhood years to help foster young learners’ imagination and a positive attitude toward learning and curiosity. Children as young as two years old in Nursery enjoy music experience under the care of a music specialist.

AIS music education continues through Elementary and Secondary, with opportunities for students to participate in various choir groups and ensembles, as well as private music tuition through our extensive vocal and instrumental music program.

To find out more about music education at AIS, click here.

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