Parent homework: University of London study, classical music in assemblies and classes increased pupils’ listening power and aspirations

8 Jan

Mozart was a child prodigy. Most of us don’t come close to possessing his gifts. The Journal Times reported about the “Mozart effect.”

Mozart Effect
Scientific research has found some basis for the notion that music instruction stimulates general intelligence. About 10 years ago that was called the Mozart effect, the result of some research that reported that listening to a Mozart sonata increased the ability of some college students on a test of mental ability. Popular wisdom twisted that into the notion that listening to music makes you smarter, which is more magic than science. What scientists say at the moment is that music instruction will make you smarter about music, and that for music to help children they need to begin instruction really, really early.

Music consists of rhythms and mathematic like patterns which change a child’s brain and way of thinking. Research which was published in the Journal of Neuropsychology suggests that children who study music will as adults will benefit from music study. The research shows “….that the region of the brain involved in verbal memory is larger in adult musicians than in those who are not musicians.” Mental Ability Affected by Music Study’s%20Health&emc=eta1 Further, Rauscher’s study concludes “the research suggests that music may act as a catalyst for cognitive abilities in other disciplines, and the relationship between music and spatial-temporal reasoning is particularly compelling.” Music Affects a Child’s Cognitive Ability

Sarah Harris of the Daily Mail reported about a University of London study in the article, Playing classical music to your child can improve their listening skills later on in life:

Playing classical music such as Beethoven and Mozart to young children boosts their concentration and self-discipline, a new study suggests.
Youngsters also improve their general listening and social skills by being exposed to repertoires from composers including Ravel, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn.
In addition, they are likely to appreciate a wider range of music in later years, according to a study from the Institute of Education, (IoE), University of London.
Susan Hallam, professor of education and music psychology at the Institute of Education, University of London evaluated a programme developed by Apollo Music Projects which introduces children aged seven to ten to classical music and its composers.
The scheme involves a whole school assembly followed by six lessons at class level, with children experiencing different instruments and musical concepts and a formal concert.
Musicians explain what children should listen for and launch question and answer sessions. As the sessions progress, the listening tasks become more complex.
The programme has been delivered to 4,500 children in 26 primary schools in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, East London, as well as to over 22,000 youngsters in assemblies and concerts.
26 members of staff and 252 children in nine primary schools were questioned about the programme.
Teachers rated developing the ability to listen as the main benefit, followed by musical knowledge and development and the boosting of concentration levels, aspirations, self-discipline and personal and social skills. Some staff also pointed to improvements to English…
Playing classical music to children boosts their concentration and self-discipline, according to the study.
It improves their general listening and social skills.
Children exposed to the works of Beethoven and Mozart, for example, are more likely to appreciate a wider range of music in later years.
Some teachers involved in a scheme to expose seven to 10-year-olds to classical music reported seeing an improvement in their English.
Another study found that musicians have sharper minds and are less likely to suffer a mental decline.
Mastering instruments such as the piano, flute or violin improves people’s ability to pick up mistakes and fix them quickly.

The question is not whether children should be exposed to and study music. Children should be exposed to a wide range of the arts. The issue is what content is appropriate. A Book Rags Student Essays lays out the issues with hip hop music and its sometimes negative effects on the culture. Negative Effects of Hip Hop The late C. Delores Tucker and Tipper Gore were ridiculed when they pointed out the negative effects of glorifying violence and demeaning women by calling them “bitches and hos.” Lest people think that hip hop music and hip hop culture only affect children of color, think again. NPR had a segment entitled “why white kids love hip hop.” Why White Kids Love Hip Hop The negative life style choices and clothing glorified by many “gangsta” artists are affecting mainstream culture.

There is no one right type of music, good music comes in all genres. There is music that feeds the soul and music that destroys the soul, psyche, and culture. There is a positive hip hop movement. Essensce, a magazine targeted at Black woman and the Berklee College of Music joined forces to produce Positive Hip Hop

Berklee College of Music, in an effort to influence the direction of rap, is joining Essence magazine’s Take Back the Music campaign, meant in part to encourage young artists who offer alternatives to the violent and sex-laden lyrics found in some popular hip-hop music.

Pandora and Youtube has information which helps to promote positive hip hop. Amazon has a positive hip hop guide. Just as parents want to provide a nutritious menu of food, they need to make sure that young minds are properly nourished as well.


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