Every single week I am amazed by the power of music to bring joy, laughter, connections, happiness, silliness, comfort and much more into our lives. Music has the ability to deeply move people and touch souls in the way that few other things are able to. And yes, making music uses many different faculties. It is definitely a multi-modal activity. And, you have heard us explain in class how particular activities are supporting your child's musical development as well as supporting their spatial awareness, cognitive and emotional learning, small and large motor skills and helping them understand sociability. It's probably because music uses so many differing skills that we are drawn to be curious as to what broader effects music has. And making music accurately requires a lot of practise, in fact,
it totally makes sense to me when Daniel Levitin, a neuro-science professor at McGill says that professional musicians have more training than either medical doctors or astronauts!!
So what is it about music? Is it the practise which requires tenacity and patience? Is it because it's best to start building the musical foundation right from infancy? Or the fact that you can also connect with people while you make music? Or perhaps it's having to develop auditory and visual skills which in turns helps kids to learn to perservere? Maybe! There's a study which took place in Bridgeport, Connecticut which you may be interested in, (more details here) where children who were enrolled in a Music Together® pre-school class showed significant gains in areas which are typically measured in young children. These gains were seen in: cognitive development, self-esteem, physical development, self-confidence, and language development. Impressive!!! This is exactly what we're referring to when in class we take a moment to mention the reason we're doing something for music development and what impact that has on the other pieces of development your child is working on. (Don't panic though, everyone learns at their own pace and some of these developments are more easily seen than others.) But yes, it's exactly what we mean when we say that music learning is supporting all learning.
Supporting the whole child is precisly how I prefer to think about music development. They really are working on and gaining skills in so many areas, in fact their brains and neural-pathways are working incredibly hard even though it looks like pure fun and enjoyment.
Looking at it from a different angle, the connections, joy and comfort that music brings to all of us are also part of what makes us peoplekind. It is because music is a universal language that it removes barriers and provides accessibility. It is rewarding for them and you in so many different ways. And, it's wonderful too that music supports so very many other pieces of early childhood development