Canadian researchers have discovered that there is a learning link between children who play a musical instrument and their performance in the classroom. Read about it here.
Musically trained children tend to do better in memory tests and have a higher IQ scores on average than those who do not. How does it work? A professor, who specialises in the psychology of music, claims that music of any kind stimulates the brain as a whole. So, taking part in musical activities can influence other areas of our development. How do they know this? During a brain scan taken while a musician is playing, their whole brain shows evidence of advanced stimulation and action.
The government is finally latching on to this and trying to get school children to sing more. The thinking behind this is that learning song lyrics can improve mental agility and reading skills. Educationalists could then use music to reinforce challenging concepts such as numeracy, motor skills and language development.
The relationship between learning and music is well established. One of my favourite thinkers, Howard Gardner, pioneered the concept of Multiple Intelligences, one of which was a musical intelligence. Each of these types of intelligence linguistic, logical, visual, tactile, naturalistic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal is associated with a distinct learning style.
Acceleration Learning was pioneered in the 1970 ‘s by a Bulgarian professor of psychotherapy called Georgi Lozanov. His early programme focused on teaching a foreign language, utilizing the techniques of music with relaxation and suggestion. He found that music is effective in creating the relaxed state of mind that is a condition to learning, as well as involving the whole mind in the learning process.
Want to learn faster and deeper? Get all your senses involved! Want to keep what you ‘ve learned in your memory? Incorporate rhythm and rhyme into your learning events!
But music can do much more than this. According to ethnomusicologist and author Elizabeth Miles, music can also energise, relax, focus, heal, uplift, cleanse and create. Check out her cool website. She applies the power of music to fields as diverse as human resources and workplace performance to healthcare and medicine.
No wonder the ancients used music to cure hangovers, plague and depression and we moderns use it to expresses personal and national identity.
What pieces of music mean something to you?