"I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but more importantly music; for in the patterns of music and all the arts, are the keys to learning". – Plato
1. Accelerates brain development
Research has found that playing an instrument accesses many areas of the brain. A musicians brain is known to communicate across both hemispheres efficiently and coherently through a network of connected neural pathways more efficiently than non instrumental players. Accessing many parts of the brain leads to development in other areas as well as music, such as literacy, numeracy, communication, movement, emotional intelligence, sensitivity to sound and coordination.
In other words, developing musical ability, develops ability in all other areas.
2. Develops and deepens listening.
Listening is required to become an effective communicator, to follow instructions and to participate effectively in learning. Children develop the ability to listen to the quality and tone of sounds and and the inner effects it has on the child - how it makes them think feel, experience.
This opens the door to develop ability to listen and check in with their inner world increasing emotional awareness and tuning into their own inner desires.
3. Increases focus, attention span and memory.
Lessons are designed for focus, attention and memory to grow in incremental steps. In the early childhood program, this is achieved by having many short musical activities to move with the childs attention, in individual lessons, the lessons length will grow with the childs ability. What starts at a 5 minute lesson, will eventually grow to a 30 minute lesson where the child will be able to sit and focus for the entire time. Memory is developed through repeated listening of repertoire at home, it not unusual for a toddler to be able to sing advanced violin pieces that their older sibling may be learning. Children who learn Suzuki music have outstanding memory ability!
4. Provides the foundation for numeracy and Literacy.
In music notation you will find fractions, additions, a certain number of beats per bar and a rhythm that must equal the time signature. Rhythm develops speech patterns, changes in pitch assists in determining phenoms in language, as well as listening, vocalisation, sequencing and the list goes on. A complicated process when broken down and fortunately children learn it all through music without knowing it! Magic!
5. Fosters confidence and leadership
In a pressure free respectful environment children are able to learn at their own pace. Children THRIVE in this environment! Able to learn at their own pace allows for children to find their feet to stand tall on their own - they find joy in leading and performing. Thinking forward to the future, this increases their self confidence to say yes to leadership roles, public speaking, expressing their opinion, performing and making confident decisions.
6. unity, tolerance and harmony through experience.
Music is something to be shared and to experience with others. Children learn to listen and play with one another and experience the feeling of being apart of something bigger when everyone plays together. This is the magic that nourishes children's hearts, dipping them into acceptance, tolerance and oneness. You may have experienced a similar feeling at a concert, festival or footy game when everyone may have cheered or sung along together at the same time. A wonderful experience that lifts everyone up!
7. Develops ability to persevere
To play an instrument is an ability that is developed over time. It is not something that can be picked up twice a month and expect results. This is an important experience for children who live in todays instant gratification world who will learn that ability is developed incrementally day by day. Anyone can have wonderful ability in any area if they persevere and practice each day and stick with it even through the challenging times. To learn to persevere is to develop the ability to set and attain goals in life.
8. Develops the ability to see beauty in the world.
Children learn to experience music deeply beyond listening with their ears, towards feeling the music within their heart. This grows the ability to recognise and be aware of the beauty within music, consequently, these children grow the ability to recognise and be aware of beauty in their own surroundings.
Dr Suzuki believed he could feel the essence of the child by listening to the quality and feeling of their tone. It takes great the ability to see beauty in the world, sensitivity and strength of character to produce beautiful tone.
"Beautiful Tone, Beautiful Heart" -Dr Suzuki
9. Fosters skills for positive relationships
Music is one of the few extra curricular activities where children will have the one teacher over many years. This provides a unique opportunity to experience a non relational adult, week after week, who with positive regard treats the child with respect, bucket loads of patience and is there just for the child with no distraction. Imagine the accumulative positive effects this modelling will have on the child year after year in their own future relationships!
Remember that in any extra curricular activity your child does, it is the teacher who has the most impact on the child, rather than the activity itself. So listen to your gut and choose your teacher wisely.
10. Gross and Fine Motor skill development.
In early childhood music lessons children learn gross motor skills through observing the older children in the lesson, walk, crawl, jump etc, through following actions, and the hand eye coordination involved in rolling a ball or bringing a mallet to the instrument. In Instrumental learning children develop a strong core providing the foundation for their posture and muscle tone endurance. Fine motor skills are developed through finger play, playing instruments as well as navigating props. In instrumental learning, finger movements are refined to create beautiful tone.
11. Above all Music Creates a love of learning
In an environment that is calm, free from pressure, involves group experiences and moves at the child's own pace; the child feels respected, proud of each step, motivated and ultimately enjoys learning. This nurtures a love and joy in learning that spreads beyond music making and lasts a life time!