MacKillop Catholic College is using the power of music to enhance their students’ learning with an engaging new music program.
Studies have found there are long-lasting cognitive benefits of learning a musical instrument, particularly from a young age. A study in the Journal of Neuroscience revealed that learning music early in life affects and strengthens the connection of both left and right hemispheres of the brain, which leads to enhanced cognitive abilities. Research has also shown playing music preserved sharp processing of speech sounds, assists speech processing in children with dyslexia and can even protect the brain against dementia later in life.
“Numerous studies and evidence from neuroscientists have shown that being engaged in music, particularly learning a musical instrument or singing in a choir helps with cognitive development,” explains MacKillop Catholic College music teacher Jan Veronese.
“Throughout my 20 years of teaching P-6 music, I have seen the power of music and how it contributes in a positive way to the overall development of ALL children – from children with special needs, behavioural concerns right through to those with a special talent. All children respond to rhythm, beat, singing, listening, creating and performing music. Participating in music enables children to learn at their own pace while still expanding their knowledge, gaining confidence and just simply enjoying themselves.”
At MacKillop, students from Prep to Year 6 benefit from learning about music elements, composing songs, learning the descant recorder, participating in a strings program and performing for their peers and from 2020 all Year 7 students will participate in an inclusive Instrumental Music Program. As part of this program, all high school students will learn a musical instrument, supplied by the College as part of the fees for high school, as an integral part of the curriculum. The program will ensure all Instrumental Music Program students can participate in the school’s band, ensembles and choir.
“We are very fortunate at MacKillop to have our administration team see the value of music in the curriculum. It is so exciting to see they have a vision for expanding the program to instrumental music and choral work. I truly believe that children exposed to music in many forms will grow themselves but so will the school community.”