Marching into Music
Pace Academy enlivens the classroom with a variety of resources that open the door to freethinking like caring for animals, hands-on activities, lesson creation, and also MUSIC! Whatever the genre, the soft sounds of a string quartet or the rhythmic beating of a drum encompasses so many rich, and positive attributes it’s hard to really talk about its benefits in one blog.
And while there are many effects of music, some of the helpful ones Pace has noticed in the classroom is its soothing and restorative ability to help kids be more social. We’ve also noticed its stimulating ability to enhance a child’s understanding in math and reasoning skills.
Some of our first observations were with students we understood had trouble with social skills and with communication, it reduced their stress and allowed them to concentrate. It wasn’t soon after these students’ overall mood had improved so positively they loved being in the classroom with the other kids.
As a campus that uses art as a conduit to learning we wouldn’t think to delete subjects like art or music like other schools have proposed. In fact it’s what helps keep children interested and we aim to help each student find their “rhythm” in the classroom!
What’s great about music is it doesn’t only help kids with communication or with academics; its well-rounded notes have many constructive benefits for every child. Here are a few that might help with a better understanding of the impact melodious tunes really have on the brain.
- Music melts hearts– Music has phenomenal healing properties. According to a study published by an Oxford psychology professor, Robin Dunbar called “Evolutionary Psychology,” the reason listening AND playing music makes people feel good is because it releases countless endorphins (the body’s natural opiates). When these mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain are released, it creates a feeling of pleasure and helps one feel less depressed. More information found here.
- Music makes you smarter- According to a PBS article written by Laura Lewis Brown titled, “The Benefits of Music Education,” children who play music are often more successful academically because a “child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously.” Children’s natural ability to decode sounds and words in language development are enhanced through music as well since both music and language are processed through the left side of the brain. In the same article, Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University said, “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain.” Building your IQ has never sounded better! More information found here.
- Music helps the body heal- According to a Harvard Health Publishing article titled “How Music Can Help You Heal,” studies show, “music therapy enhances people’s physical, psychological, cognitive, and emotional functioning during physical rehabilitation programs.” And can even restore lost speech after a stroke or brain injury through singing because it utilizes the right side of the brain, while regular speech utilizes the left side. More information found here.
We find a lot of value in music, and one day hope to incorporate a full string orchestra into our classes, but for now our music class is reserved for once a week for one hour. Students can choose between the harmonious and easy listening violin or the raucous booms of percussion. It’s great to see some of our piano students already enjoying playing simple songs. So whether your student is brassy and sassy, or gently classical we encourage every parent to see the potential benefits that will stay with your child for not only a season, but also a lifetime!