Music playing music as are used when a child

Music is a medium which is accessible to
all in some variety, regardless of educational need or cultural/social
background. With the recent push for higher attainment and better scores, music
has taken a back seat compared to core subjects in some schools. However,
published research suggests that this is perhaps a detriment, rather than a
benefit.

Research

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An article from 2015 stated that it had
been proven via MRI that the same areas of the brain are used when listening
and playing music as are used when a child is reading, writing, speaking and
listening1. They suggested this was therefore conclusive proof that
music has a direct and positive effect on the academic mind and the way people
process information. Music has been central to teaching outside of the
classroom, as stated in one article: ‘Sesame Street … is the most effective
educational children’s program in history…and uses music almost non-stop,’2
and therefore it’s a wonder why music isn’t utilised more often in the
classroom.

From birth, most children are exposed to
song and rhyme through nursery rhymes, with some children being able to recall these
years later. Similarly, this can be evidenced through song and rhyme use to
remember facts such as the sequence of the alphabet and historical events e.g.
the origin of Bonfire Night. Music is everywhere, and often helps people to
form connections and relationships with others; it is a cultural glue that
provides a sense of togetherness3.

Buckler stated that singing has been scientifically
proven to cause a release of endorphins, increase oxygenation of the blood and improve
posture and upper-body muscle strength4 . In the same article she
went on to suggest ways in which singing could be incorporated into the
classroom, for example singing the child’s name when doing the register and
then asking the child to sing it back in the same pitch. Many of these examples
help the children with their listening skills, and for children who have a
special educational need which would make these activities inappropriate e.g.
hearing impairment, there are always alterations which allow involvement.

How
will I use this?

I love the idea of a classroom where music
is used as a benefit to the childrens education, perhaps allowing non-academic
children to shine with an unknown talent. I think there is a huge benefit,
especially when learning new things, to using rhymes and music to help with
long term retention of facts, as mentioned previously. I know from personal
experience, that music, particularly instrumental music, can help with
information retention, as I was able to associate the facts I had learnt with
the music I had heard during that time. I believe that in the future I will use
music to set the mood within the classroom e.g. using soft, slow music for when
I want the children to concentrate and work calmly. Finally, I like the idea of
using music or singing as a hook for a new topic or theme.

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