Why all children need music in their lives

There is an enormous body of research showing that participation in music making directly affects children’s developing nervous systems. Music is one of the few things that uses both sides of the brain and it is also a dynamic way for children to develop their language and maths skills. Elizabeth McCall from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra talks to us about the ASO learning and community program and how we can support South Australian children from all backgrounds to participate in music making.

WORDS: Elizabeth McCall, Learning and Community Projects Manager, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Growing up, some of my earliest memories revolve around music – singing in the car, singing at church and listening to classical music while we drove through wheat fields in the mid north.

Later on, I was lucky enough to learn the piano and to read music. While all of this was great fun, I didn’t realise the incredibly positive impact this music making was having on my brain.

There is an enormous body of research showing that participation in music making directly affects children’s developing nervous systems. Music is one of the few things that uses both sides of the brain and it is also a dynamic way for children to develop their language and maths skills.

At the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, we believe that all children deserve the opportunity to make music a part of their childhood and, through our learning and community program, look at how we can support South Australian children from all backgrounds to participate in music making.

children need music
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Teachers and Schools

From professional development workshops for teachers, to incursions in school, we are keen to support teachers in making music with their classes. Schools can also experience the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as part of our Festival of Learning at the Town Hall in June 2022.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Families

Families can participate through concerts including Finders Keepers on 10 June and the Bush Concert on 18 July, both with opportunities to join in through singing.

Relaxed Concerts

Our Relaxed Concerts are specially designed for families with children with additional needs. With sensory friendly break out spaces, adjusted lighting and sound and AUSLAN interpretation, we’ve worked carefully to create an accessible concert.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Regional Schools

Nurturing the creativity of regional students is important to us and regional schools can now take part in Silos and Symphonies, joining in composition workshops and creating a new piece for the orchestra, reflecting the stories that the students’ want to tell.

We are so excited to see the passion and creativity that young people bring to music and to be a part of nurturing the next generation of musicians.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

TUNING IN TO WHY MUSIC EDUCATION IS SO IMPORTANT

Enhanced literacy skills

Evidence suggests the area of the brain controlling both musical ability and language comprehension are closely related. Music education requires students to recognise and repeat pitch, tone or enunciation of words. Especially in young children, music directly benefits the ability to learn words, speak them correctly, and process the many new sounds they hear from others.

Improved memory

Music is a vehicle for excellent memory skills. Through catchy melodies and a variety of sounds, music has a way of “sticking” with us and is a powerful tool for learning. When students learn to read music by sight, play the proper notes on their instrument and recall lyrics, this benefits the overall memory centre of the brain.

Hand-eye coordination

Music education promotes improved coordination, specifically hand-eye coordination and dexterity. This opportunity to grow motor skills is especially significant in younger children. Even a basic introduction to an instrument, such as hitting a triangle or learning a song on a recorder, can be beneficial.

Developing study habits

When children are exposed to proper music education, they learn powerful study habits. Mastering their specific musical craft takes a concerted effort, consistent practice and patience. These disciplined habits translate into other areas of study.

Music has no language barrier

Music transcends the limits of language, it’s something that brings people together regardless of ethnicity or background. Music also transcends academic barriers, all learners can be successful in music. Sometimes, students who struggle academically will soar in the arts.

Self esteem

Music education is an important aspect of providing children with a well-rounded education. When allowed to work in harmony with other subjects and areas of study, music helps children grow in self-esteem, build essential skills and prepare for bright futures!

aso.com.au

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