Science has done a great deal of work in recent years, validating and deepening what musicians and music teachers have long known: that music touches all spheres of development beneficially.
Language, self-expression, concentration, social interaction, listening, problem solving, teamwork, goal setting, coordination, confidence, self-esteem, creativity, poise, emotional development, family interaction, vocal expression, and fine motor skills are ALL improved with music education.
Perhaps the most significant in the early years (because this affects all future learning) is the development of listening skills. The National Association of Music Merchants quote a paper in the journal Hearing Research from 2013: "Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically-trained children than in those without music training." And the Journal of Neuroscience agrees: Professor Nina Kraus found that the benefits of musical training lasted well into adulthood, even when a child does not continue to study music as an adult. This answers the questions some parents have about the benefits of childhood musical training when a child has ambitions that are non-musical.
Because music immerses the child in language, and stimulates the brain, it is highly effective at helping the brain learn better. By stimulating verbal memory, music helps the brain respond faster, and these benefits last through life. In addition, McGill University researchers found that enjoyable music boosts dopamine (the "feel-good, reward neurotransmitter) by up to 10%. No wonder your favorite music makes you feel so good!
It is not just the brain that benefits from music education. Moving to the rhythm of music benefits language and reading skills; it also promotes coordination, poise, and motor skills. Our stop/go songs and dances are introducing your child to purposeful movement, impulse control, and creativity, in a fun setting.
A third area of benefit, alongside physical and cognitive advantages, is in the social realm. Musikgarten is carefully designed to boost confidence and self-esteem, while teaching social interaction and teamwork. Children love to take turns and explore space together, delighting in each other's achievements in playing, singing, or imagination. And those benefits go beyond the classroom into your family life, as you listen to the CD and enjoy the family materials together, recalling last week's class and anticipating the next.
So as we close out our semester, I'm looking forward to ALL these benefits growing in your child next semester: I'll see you in class!