Music Wires the Brain for Enhanced Learning
How music affects the brain is a hot area for neuroscientists to analyse, and recent findings from a 20-year-long study justify why St Luke’s Performing Arts programs are well integrated within the school curriculum.
What Neuroscientists have Discovered
Learning an instrument for at least 2 years creates a permanent change in brain function that remains throughout that person’s life.
Learning an instrument for up to 7 years builds cognitive and executive functions of the brain. This creates widespread, synchronized, and sustained levels of brain activity, as well as strong and flexible neural pathways.
Ineffective neural pathways can be corrected through learning music, and academic achievement will come easier to the musician.
Instrument players are able to manage emotional and behavioural issues better, accept diversity, tolerate discomfort and enjoy better relationships.
Students need only to learn an instrument, take music lessons, read music, and enjoy group music-making experiences.
Studies show that the best time for a student to begin their music education is between 3 and 5 years of age. Singing with your children, then starting lessons on piano or a string instrument is proven to give the greatest benefit.
St Luke’s Music Program
St Luke’s wastes no time introducing music and movement to their students. The Early Learning Centre curriculum includes singing, moving to music, and playing percussion instruments. Learning about and playing music continues throughout the entire primary years.
Taking up an instrument commences in the Year 3 curriculum with the String Program. Then in Year 4, students can choose to learn string, woodwind, brass or percussion instruments.
Music as a subject is offered to Year 8 students and continues on to the final senior year.
Leanne Hutchings, St Luke’s Director of Performing Arts says that in her 30 years of teaching music, she observed the very effect that scientists have now discovered. “Students who engage in music lessons from a young age develop resilience, reliability, and positive relationships with their peers and adults,” she said. “I have also noticed that these students tend to achieve great success in their academic work.”