Music classes have more benefits than you’d think. MH finds out more.
WORDS SAMANTHA TAN
Dr Larry Scripp, dean of Music in Education at Mindchamps, who had developed a new methodology in music education, explained how music in early childhood learning must be taught from the perspective of a new framework of multiple literacies, processes, and modalities of musical expression that is strengthened by integrative teaching strategies across the curriculum. He also proved that with the new ways of teaching, the results are far more stimulating to the student and more conducive for the kind of musical understanding that informs and promotes learning across five instrumental pathways as elements for creating the multidisciplinary musical learner.
Dr Scripp’s methodology doesn't just simply focus on performances only but focuses first on a broad range of musical literacy skills in conjunction with all the major areas of studies, in particular mathematics and language. This eventually aids in the development of all other areas of learning beyond the overall curriculum.
Shauna Chen, the director of Kindermusik With Love Studios, says, “Music targets the development of the whole child. When music is present, it causes the brain cells to be more active, and hence any form of learning or any area that the child is developing is simply more efficient and pronounced. Music is also naturally engaging towards children, and when they are fully engaged, effective learning can take place.”
Music and Movement
Music and movement instruction improves children’s memory, stimulates cognitive development, enhances their learning skills, and allows them to express themselves. Music helps children to develop socially and emotionally. A key indicator of social-emotional ability is self-regulation. Children who display self-regulation are able to control their impulses, pay attention, work flexibly towards goals, and plan and organise their actions.
An example of a self-regulated child is being able to wait for
his or her turn in line without frustration or resist blurting out answers
when other children have been asked a question.
Chen also shares that developing better language skills and honing literacy in young children starts with building better listening skills. She says, “The innate push of children to want to make music together makes them naturally engage their listening ears, constant exposure to such listening opportunities then turns them into better listeners.”
Music and Learning
Music also contributes positively to academic development. As we listen to music or make music, especially for younger kids, the brain creates neurone pathways. These are the same pathways used for completing complex spatial reasoning tasks, thus strengthening their mathematical skills. Children are wired to learn by moving and as that happens, develop better spatial awareness and body awareness. Chen shares, “We do plenty of group dances and circle games to allow the children to feel movement, emotion, and make social connections. In the process of participating in the circle movement activity, children also develop a steady beat and ensemble skills.”
So when would be the best time to let your babies get acquainted with music? Chen advises parents to start their children on their musical journey as soon as possible. She says, “The brain starts developing from the moment babies are born. In fact, the brain grows its fastest from the first few months. We start from as young as zero years old and many mums have come to class from as young as two months. Of course, for practical reasons, we usually advise starting as soon as baby’s neck is more stable and when mum is comfortable carrying the baby and dancing around.”
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