This is an interesting blog article which would suggest that it does Click here to read Unpacking Science article
I’ve long debated with people, in favour of its inclusion, who say that music should not be included on the school curriculum. I recently had a rather public debate with a former HE lecturer who felt that it should be classed as a hobby and thereby treated as such, believing parents should pay for their kids to learn an instrument or to sing or to participate in a choir if they want to do that kind of thing and resenting the drain on taxes to provide music as a subject to other people’s children. I argued that if we were to start doing that we would be opening up the floodgates for parents to claim they didn’t want to support a whole raft of the lessons taught in school… I could argue that because my children don’t paint I don’t want my taxes to support art classes or because I hated PE I don’t want my taxes to contribute towards PE classes. That part of her argument in short seemed absurd but was there a point to it? Is music a mere hobby and of no use academically and therefore should it have no place on the curriculum? The above article would strongly suggest that it does and that place should be more respected and better utilised.
I, as the mother of musical children of course support the inclusion and I also pay for my kids to have lessons and to buy them instruments and all manner of associated paraphernalia outside of school, I don’t expect the tax payer, of which I am of course one, to food the bill. My son as a gifted musician who is self taught at guitar and piano and who has been composing music and lyrics for several years now has ambitions to work in the music industry in some capacity when he’s older (sound production, instrument technician, music technologist of some kind are uppermost in his mind right now). Unfortunately his secondary school told us that he was ‘too intelligent to study music at GCSE’ and ‘it wasn’t an option open to his band’ (forgive the pun). His music teacher, recognising his aptitude and talent was most dismayed but his hands were tied.
I wonder if (and hope that) reading this and future research might free up a few minds to think a little more outside of the box and see that playing a musical instrument teaches so many skills and disciplines. It requires dedication and devotion, practice, repetition, interpretation of mood. Analysis of pitch, pressure, audio dynamics, sound transmission and distortion, frequency, timing, pattern and rhythm and as this piece points out, long strings of complex memorised information. It often requires the use of both hands simultaneously while reading (music is essentially a foreign language or code) and listening at the same time not only to your own instrument but to other instruments in the band or orchestra, taking direction from a conductor, team and group work, literacy, numeracy not to mention other elements like interpretation of lyrics and language… just tons of skills which are transferable into other areas of life and more importantly transferable into learning.
Beside that I have noticed that as my son progresses through his teen years music is an outlet for his creativity but also for his emotions and his teen angst, he is a very calm, composed young man who makes beautiful sounds and strings of sounds and produces heart felt deep and meaningful lyrics which express his feelings and views of the world which don’t only provide a snapshot of his life but a snapshot of teen culture and life in general in 2013/14 or whenever.
I’m not so sure that kids are encouraged enough to learn to play an instrument at school. I think all kids should be encouraged to do so not only those expressing an interest or for a select few. I spent my music classes tapping out rhythms or guessing the instrument watching the teacher enjoy playing the instruments longing to have a go myself.