Musical talent is child’s play

ACADEMICS have long drawn links between active engagement with music and a child’s personal development.Playing an instrument, learning to sing or just listening to Mozart are successful methods that experts believe contribute to a child’s intellectual, social and personal development.

In a study published in the International Journal of Music Education in 2010, author Professor Susan Hallam from the Institute of Education, University of London said musicians playing since the age of five had quicker responses and increased activity of neurons in the brain to music and speech sounds.

She also found that musicians who had played for a long time had sharper responses.

In another study published in the Journal of Research in Reading in 1994, a test was held between two groups of students aged seven to eight. One group was engaged with music and the other was not. Over a six-month period the researchers discovered that the average reading comprehension scores of the music group increased and the other group did not.

Caterina Franco, founder and teacher at Caterina Franco Music Tuition at Jannali, said several students had started music lessons purely to improve their academic development.

“Parents have said they have noticed improvements in their child’s schooling and general development after a period of time,” Ms Franco said about links between music lessons and academics.

“The most popular instruments to learn are the piano, keyboard, clarinet, saxophone and guitar. Music theory also works as a great complement to the practical side of a music lesson.”

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.