‘The Halls are alive with the sound of music.’

The Donvale campus was alive with the sound of music throughout the final weeks of last term as we celebrated the skills and development of the children in myriad entertaining concerts and performances. We marvelled at their progress and acknowledged the skilled educators who guided them along the way however the benefits of music education go far beyond having a tight sense of rhythm, an accurate sense of pitch, the ability to ‘jam’ and sing in tune.

Music has a positive impact on language and literacy skills
Scientific research supports the benefits music has on literacy instruction. Specifically, there is strong evidence that continued music instruction can improve phonemic awareness, verbal memory and vocabulary. Improvements in brain function related to these areas are a source of correlations between music ability and reading comprehension. Music also has a positive impact on children who are learning an additional language.

Listening to music can improve children’s capacity in terms of becoming ‘active’ listeners. Listening is the first language mode that children acquire, and it provides the foundation for all other aspects of language and reading development. Song lyrics are also a rich source of new vocabulary.

For those interested in finding out more, you can access a study done by the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at USC. They engaged in a five-year study in 2012. Together with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) they examined the impact of music instruction on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

In short, we all understand the value of music instruction in liberating the artistic and musical potential of our students. We perhaps do not fully appreciate the power of music to enhance children’s language literacy.

Steve Wilson
Head of Carey Donvale