The Benefits of Learning Music

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?

[3] People Change Lives – Sistema Scotland

Meet Us! Fife Music School On Tour, Kirkcaldy

Meet Us! Fife Music School @ Artisan Fridays, Kirkcaldy

Come and meet us at Kirkcaldy’s Artisan Market on Friday 13th August 9am-4pm. Join us for live music and a chance to find out more about our new classes.

Meet Us: Fife Music School at Kirkcaldy's Artisan Market. 9am-4pm Friday 13th August.

Ellie and Cat will be on hand with plenty of info about our P1 and P2 foundation music classes, so feel free to come along and chat to us! It will also be a chance to see our Nuvo instruments, which we will be starting to offer classes for later in the year. These cleverly designed woodwind instruments are affordable and durable – a great way for youngsters to get into playing clarinet, flute or saxophone.

There will also be a host of other stalls selling everything from fruit and veg to jewellery, plus plenty of live entertainment and great street food. Fingers crossed for some more of this nice sunny weather we’ve been having lately!

Music Classes for Young Children (Ages 4-8)

Boy singing into microphone
Music classes for young children

Fife Music School are excited to be rolling out a whole range of music classes for young children in 2020. These classes are aimed at building confidence in music ahead of taking up an instrument, and will involve a whole variety of games and activities including voice, movement and percussion instruments.

We believe that a great foundation in music is a huge advantage when it comes to taking up an instrument later on, as well as being great for developing a whole range of social, physical and cognitive skills. Led by expert tutors Ellie Steemson and Catherine Evison, the focus is on enjoyment and creating confidence.

We will be offering two completely free taster music classes for young children and their parents on Saturday 26th October in Kirkcaldy. There will be two groups, one for children aged 4-5 and the other for ages 6-8. Together we will explore musical ideas such as rhythm and beat whilst having fun and making music as a group.

The classes will take place at Windmill Community Campus, Kirkcaldy at 9.30 (4-5 year-olds) and 10.15 (6-8 year-olds). If you would like to attend all you need to do is sign up using the button below. We hope to see you there!

If you have older children, you may also be interested in our recorder class for 9-11 year-olds taking place on the same day at 12pm. An introduction to recorder playing using the brand new Nuvo Recorder+. More details here.

Music Classes for Adults

Free Music Classes for Adults - open day flyer

Fife Music School will be offering a variety of music classes for adults with different levels of musical experience. The classes for beginners will involve making music in a small group, and you do not need to have an instrument. We will be using percussion instruments, movement and voices to learn about musical performance, including how to read basic music notation.

Perhaps you are already learning an instrument? Our classes are broad-based, and all adult-learners can add value to their instrumental studies by taking part. We plan to offer theory and music appreciation classes, as well as general musicianship classes including percussion and vocal work.

We will start to run a range of music classes for adults from 2020, but to introduce ourselves and what we do, we are offering two completely free taster sessions on Saturday 26th October at 11am and 23rd November at 11.45am. The sessions will be led by experienced musicians and educators Ellie Steemson and Catherine Evison.

The class on Saturday 26th October will feature African drumming and vocal work, including an introduction to musical notation, and is open to adults aged 18+. We will work on elements of music such as listening skills, beat and rhythm. We all have an innate sense of music, and here you will have the chance to tap into this! The well-being benefits of making music (especially as part of a group) are well-documented. Why not come along and give it a go?!

On November 23rd we will be offering an adult choir session, which will allow you to feel the benefits of singing in a group alongside developing your musical understanding and knowledge.

We’d love to see you at either session (or both!). To find out more and sign up to a class, please click the button below.

Open Mornings Saturday October 26th and November 23rd

We are thrilled to announce our open mornings at Windmill Community Campus. You are most welcome to meet us and find out more about our plans for forthcoming classes, workshops and events.

There will be free classes and cake! Please take a look at the sessions we are offering below. Places for classes are limited, so please sign up using the buttons below.

Can’t attend on either day? Just sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about our future events!

October 26th 2019

9:00am – 1:00pm

Join us for a morning of music and cake at Windmill Community Campus!

All the classes below are free to attend and no instruments are required. You do however need to sign up as places are limited. Please click the button below the class to sign-up

9.30-10am: Music-making for children aged 4-5 

Leader: Catherine Evison

A fun 30 minute workshop for 4-5 year-olds aimed at developing musical ability through a variety of activities including singing, movement and simple percussion instruments.

10.15-10.45am: Music-making for children aged 6-8 

Leader: Catherine Evison

A fun 30-minute workshop for children aged 6-8 years developing musical ability through a variety of activities including singing, movement and simple percussion instruments, including an introduction to musical notation.

11-11.45am: Music workshop for adults 

Leader: Ellie Steemson

A fun, accessible 45-minute workshop for adults aimed at developing important musical skills such as pitch rhythm and beat through a variety of activities. Influenced by the Kodaly approach to understanding pitch and rhythm, this session is appropriate for anyone wishing to improve their musical abilities whether they have some previous musical experience or none at all.

12-12.30: Recorder workshop for children aged 9-11 years

Leader: Ellie Steemson

This workshop will introduce children aged 9-11 to the basics of playing the recorder, as well as important musical skills such as rhythm and beat. Using the brand new Nuvo Recorder+, they will learn simple tunes to play together as a group. More classes including flute, sax and clarinet will be following in 2020, so keep your eye on our website for more information.