Music Matters

Nurturing music in children


From the moment our clock radios go off in the morning, to the theme tune for the evening news, we are surrounded by music all day long. Listening to music can be a great way to unwind after a long day at work or school, or can be used to energize us before a night out on the town. While it is not crucial to be able to read music or to be familiar with the great composers in order to enjoy music, a musical education has many benefits. Music can be used to facilitate learning and may even accelerate psychological development in children.

Music is one of the most amazing ways to experience the world. Children are able to appreciate music from birth. This is why we sing to babies to soothe them and send them to sleep. Before infants learn to read, or even to speak, they are able to express themselves and to respond to emotional stimuli through music. In light of this, it is crucial that children have access to musical instruments so that they can explore the possibilities of self-expression through sound.

Once children reach school age, they have the intellectual and motor skills necessary to embark upon learning a musical instrument. Basic wind instruments such as the recorder are perfect for introducing children to music-making. Recorder lessons provide foundational skills in reading music and producing different pitches using different fingering techniques.

The intellectual and technical skills practised through learning an instrument benefit children in other areas. Children who begin to learn reading music at an early age typically do better in core subjects such as mathematics and literacy during their primary school years. This head start can set them on the path to lifelong academic success, as well as providing them with the foundations for a skill which can be developed throughout childhood and enjoyed in later life.

As well as giving children the opportunity to experiment with musical instruments and to make music for themselves, it is important to encourage them to develop an appreciation of music. One of the best ways to get children to enjoy music is to take them to concerts and other musical performances. It is important to expose children to a variety of styles from rock music, to classical orchestral performances, so they can develop critical skills and decide what they do and don`t like.

Of course, it is difficult to persuade children to sit through long concerts. Forcing youngsters to sit through three hour operas may put them off music for life. Some theatres and concert halls now put on professional performances aimed directly at children, which are guaranteed to excite the curiosity of young minds, Available to buy via telephone, online or in person at your local Boxoffice tickets for interactive and child-orientated concerts usually sell out very quickly. If you do not have access to venues holding concerts aimed at younger audiences, why not encourage them to join a children`s choir, orchestra or other music group? This will help build confidence in performing, as well as teaching respectful listening skills. Nurturing an interest in musical performance and production will ensure that your children develop a healthy appetite for music and reap the benefits of a musical education.

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