Expand their mind with music

Research has found that music is the “horse that pulls the cart” when it comes to children being smarter, more confident and better leaders as they grow up.

“We’ve been saying it for years but now the research proves it,” Riverina Conservatorium of Music director Hamish Tait said.

“Kids engage better and they have better memory because learning an instrument is a constant process of memorising.

“Every motion has to be committed to memory.

“It also develops self discipline. To play an instrument well requires an immense amount of time commitment which means sacrificing other things.

Music exercises the brain in a way no other activity does

Riverina Conservatorium of Music director Hamish Tait

“Kids who learn an instrument are more likely to put down the playstation or mobile phone and engage in a rigorous process (like study or training) simply because that’s a habit they've built up over time.”

The cognitive-level functions used when learning to play an instrument are similar to the way the brain works while processing math. 

Learning an instrument is just one of the pathways in music education. Learning an instrument between the ages of five and seven will have a positive impact on their brain development. 

“Children who learn instruments develop physically stronger brains and develop neural pathways,” Mr Tait said. 

“Music exercises the brain in a way no other activity does.”

There is currently a big push to increase music education in schools across the country. 

“We have to get more kids engaged in music education,” Mr Tait said. 

“We need to train classroom teachers so every child has access through their school.

“It’s a really sad situation. We only access a small percent of the children in the community.

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“Most children don’t have access due to lack of education in the home or lack of engagement at school because the school doesn’t have program, they may not have the money to do it or they might have a lack of trained teachers.

“Music education is expensive, we need a broad education on music education and how beneficial it is.”

It can be easy to expose your child to music from a young age at home simply by singing and “taking out the headphone and buying a speaker.”

“Parents and families are reliant on external devices for music and everyone has their headphones on, we’re not listening to music as a family anymore,” Mr Tait said. 

“Parents need to sing their kids nursery rhymes. Between birth and seven-years-old is when music will have the best impact.

“Don’t sit down and try and play the violin at six-months old but go to music programs and sing at home.”