Music is a basic communication skill that has been part of the human experience since before the development of language. Modern humans seek and perfom music for special celebrations, are bombarded with media music, and manipulated by music in advertising or store ambiance. A knowlege of the expressive elements of music is essential to modern society.
Music education in schools is not to train professional musicians. Music has wide applications for child development both physically and mentally. Language, graphic representation, audiation, listening skills, social studies, history, mathematics, and physical movement are all elements of music instruction. To clarify this, the following are activities drawn from the music curridulum which help in children's social, physical and mental development.
Singing Games: Games provide students social skills necessary for living in society. Musical games have added levels of interaction and stimuli that benefit children mentally, emotionally and physically. There are hundreds of musical games that require students to chase, tag, create movements and follow movements of others. When a child is fully engaged in a musical game, they are processing stimuli of touch, sound, sight at the same time they are moving, singing and listening. For the child's development this activity connects multiple parts of the brain at the same time which is necessary for advanced problem solving.
Music Listening: Active listening is key to helping student's learning. A number of years ago the "Mozart Effect" was found to increase test scores. Most people neglected to understand that focused active listening was the key to improving test scores, not simply playing music in the background. Music listening is used with movement to hightlight the patterns in the music. These patterns are discussed with the student using comparitive skills to identify the form or ABC pattern of the music. These are skills used in science, math, and visual art.
Occasionally this page will feature links to news or research regarding the value of music education to the development of children.