It’s a long-held notion that music enriches learning, and recent studies affirm this belief. It seems safe to say, musicality positively impacts the development of young children. Cue the music!
What the experts say
The link between musicality and learning really comes to light in Hong Kong. This is because there’s a direct link between the benefits of music and language development. In a city where children are learning two, three, four and even more languages at one time, this is of interest to parents.
Mary Luehrisen, Executive Director of the National Association of Music Merchants, captures this notion. “When you look at children aged between two and nine, one of the significant breakthroughs is the benefit music brings to language development.”
Other studies have highlighted the link between music and language by mapping physical brain development. Kyle Pruett, Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, notes, “The development of language over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music – and language competence is at the root of social competence. Musical experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent.”
More music in schools, please
So, what does this mean for parents and teachers? Simply put, it means that we need more music in our lives! Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong is one school that has taken this research on board. And, it is implementing the learnings into programmes for young learners.
Shrewsbury has a deep history of success within musical performance and the performing arts. The renowned UK campus offers a purpose-built Music School. This facility was opened by the Prince of Wales himself in 1999. For many generations, members of the Shrewsbury community have enjoyed performances from peers, parents and visitors of the highest accord.
At Shrewsbury in Hong Kong, this success is set to be replicated. Recruiting the right leader was critical in ensuring the development of a programme integral to the experiences of all children. In Euan Kilpatrick, the school has found an engaged, dynamic and knowledgeable practitioner with an aspirational vision.
“Music offers a unique opportunity for students to make connections, understand ideas and practise skills associated with a wide range of other curriculum areas,” says Euan.
The music programme at Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong has been carefully designed to nurture a life-long love of music. Further supplementing core lessons, students throughout the school engage in weekly choral sessions. These sessions enhance their understanding of musicality, rhythm and performance.
“Singing warms the soul,” continues Euan. “Within our sessions, students learn to control their breathing and physicality. Consciously engaging our diaphragm helps to increase the levels of oxygen in the bloodstream, regulate our heartbeat and ease levels of stress and anxiety. Singing alongside others on a weekly basis has psychological benefits too – it increases our sense of community and belonging.”
Interested in a school with an enhanced music curriculum? Contact the Shrewsbury team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2480 1500 for more details.
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