What are the benefits of learning music for young children?

Thinking about attending one of our P1 & P2 music classes this Autumn? Cat Evison from Fife Music School talks about the benefits of learning music for young children…

Decisions, Decisions… 

Whether it’s performing arts, sports, arts and crafts or learning a language, there are so many opportunities for enriching after school activities these days that it can be challenging to choose.  At Fife Music School we are, somewhat predictably, in the ‘music’ camp and the good news is, we’re recruiting members!  As we gear up to start our Primary 1 and Primary 2 music classes in August 2021, we wanted to share why we do what we do and why learning music is such a great investment for your child’s future.  

‘Making music engages more areas of the brain simultaneously than any other activity’

Why Music?  

Making music engages more areas of the brain simultaneously than any other activity. In one study children participating in music showed enhancement in multiple brain areas when compared to children taking part in sport or even other arts.  You can check out this TED-Ed Talk for more details, however, the benefits are more than academic.  Research has also shown improvements in social skills, with children partaking in music sessions becoming more co-operative, agreeable and willing to help others[1]; that ‘students who play in school band or orchestra have the lowest levels of current and lifelong use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs among any group in our society’[2]; and even that playing an instrument can protect the brain against mental decline in old age.

We are starting to see music used more and more as a vehicle for social change in Scotland, with Sistema Scotland claiming to generate £9 of social benefit for every £1 of funding they receive.[3]  It may seem counterintuitive to boost music provision when children are struggling in school, but according to Dr Nina Kraus, this may be exactly what is needed.  “Research has shown that there are differences in the brains of children raised in impoverished environments that affect their ability to learn.” says the neurobiologist from Northwestern University. “While more affluent students do better in school than children from lower income backgrounds, we are finding that musical training can alter the nervous system to create a better learner and help offset this academic gap.” It’s clear that whichever way you frame it, learning music is a sound investment for your child, and can significantly impact their future prospects in myriad ways.   

…learning music is a sound investment for your child, and can significantly impact their future prospects in myriad ways.

Why Fife Music School? 

As with anything educational, the benefits of learning music can only be fully realised through effective teaching.  Our tutors Ellie Steemson & Cat Evison are both professional musicians and trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.  They are vastly experienced teachers and have designed the programme at Fife Music School to maximise the benefits of music education, while being fun and engaging.  Young children learn most effectively through play, so we teach predominantly through singing, games and dances.  This allows children to absorb a sense of pitch and pulse, develop their co-ordination, social skills and language skills as well as their confidence.  

For more details of our classes in Kirkcaldy, click the link below:

[1] ‘Making music can make a young child nicer, more willing to help, and better at problem solving, a new study finds’ CTV News

[2] Can playing music make your child smarter? Education.com

[3] People Change Lives – Sistema Scotland

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