Musical Education Makes Much More Than Sound Sense
Would you be surprised to know that there is one known activity that can vastly improve a child’s cognitive capacity? Not only that, but also develop the mastery of languages, help to create memory systems, positively affect emotional state and helps with complex problem-solving? And what if that activity was found by scientists to be beneficial at any time of life but most beneficial before the age of 7?
Melbourne University’s Dr Anita Collins’ inspirational TED talk confirms that scientists have found that one activity to be music!
Neuroscientists used MRI scans to show that when we speak, the left side of the brain lights up and when we do mathematics, the right side is stimulated. Amazingly, when we listen to music, the whole brain lights up!
Scientists found that music education works three parts of the brain at once; the motor, visual and auditory courtesies. This is the equivalent of a full brain workout, allowing messages to travel far more quickly along more pathways. The study found that musicians have much higher executive functioning than the general population. Scientific research also shows that students involved in good music programs actually do better overall on standardised tests.
Through highly interactive programs where children are engaged in creating musical sounds and adults model for children, evoking musical responses from them, children develop a good listening ear and auditory memory. This stands them in good stead for all their future learning.
Of course learning music has so many intrinsically good musical outcomes as well, and ideally, we want our children to just love music because it is so wonderful. I find it so exciting to discover the bonus scientific evidence supporting its many positive effects on the life-long learning of future generations!
Author Bio: Anna Mlynek-Kalman is Director of Music Works Magic. She is currently enrolled in the PhD. program at Monash University working with early childhood educators in a mentorship program researching the effects of early musical experiences on teacher musical confidence. Anna studied pedagogy in the U.S. and tutored aural musicianship for 5 years at Melbourne University. She consults in schools, runs training courses specifically for adults wishing to gain confidence when working with babies-8yr olds, as well as running sessions for this age group in her studio.
Social Media: Music Works Magic