Music plays a key part in the lives of so many people. There are some whose very prospects and careers are based on that defining moment that saw them play their first ever note.
Making it possible for children to access and play musical instruments from the comfort of their playground will boost their creativity, confidence, and self-belief, in-turn creating a positive impact on them and your school.
What are the benefits of having musical experiences?
There are many areas of development that, through research, have proven to be improved through the use of music in play and learning.
Let’s look at those key areas.
Perhaps the first thing you might think of when asked, “what are children developing while playing musical instruments?” is their creativity. Whether that’s the case or not, it is the creative flair of a fresh mind facing a new instrument that can be the most exciting for the player.
As children start to hit the keys on a set of Rainbow Chimes and begin to pair notes together that they recognize as a melody they already know, the seeds are quickly sown for them to grow into budding musicians.
Once set off on this path to playing musical instruments, children will be inspired to use their imaginations as they learn to improvise and create their own compositions.
Music is all about diversity. Different cultures have their own take on a style of music, or even have their own genre altogether. This is what makes playing musical instruments so exciting, and particularly important for children to help them develop an understanding and respect for other cultures.
In the school environment, students will be faced with different cultures and religions every day. As a way to help them learn together, music invites children to identify a whole new language and experience as a collective.
One benefit that may not be so obvious: the physical.
There are many ways that playing music can benefit a child physically and this is what makes having instruments in the playground a great addition to keeping children active.
By performing with sticks and beaters, for example, children can develop their fine and gross motor skills as they will inadvertently be using different parts of their bodies. In-turn, this will help to improve their coordination as they move their arms and legs to rhythms and beats as they play and listen.
The arts are sometimes seen as the less important subjects next to English and Mathematics. While playing a musical instrument may start out as a hobby for some children, it is a key skill that comes with the benefit of aiding concentration levels, reading and writing.
It has always been important to teach children poetry and songs and how rhyming patterns work. It is in learning this that children can develop a phonological awareness that aids in their early phonics, reading, and writing – vital skills for children to learn in order for proper communication skills to develop.
Musical patterns are also a great link to those used in Mathematics. Giving children the freedom to play musical instruments during recess can show great results in the classroom, it is an excellent way for them to exercise their minds without knowing it, all while having great fun.
The rhythms and patterns children explore in music support the patterns found in Mathematics too. In addition, playing a musical instrument can improve concentration skills and teach children the importance of perseverance, a key skill when faced with challenging tasks.
Social interaction is natural in musical ensembles. Having musical instruments outdoors (much like our Alto Quartet Ensemble) allows children to take up an instrument at their own will and start to play. With options around them for other children to play at the same time, collaboration can commence.
Playing together helps children to learn to cooperate, listen to each other and to take turns. Skills such as these are valuable, especially at such a young age, and it will benefit them far into the future having learned to join in and encourage one another.
How can schools maximize music opportunities?
Capitalizing on having musical instruments in an educational environment is not only worth doing, but it is also very easy to incorporate musical play into your school day.
Incorporate music into your routine and daily activities to introduce children to rhythm and beats early on; getting familiar with counting musical beats to join in with a musical session will help them to understand certain aspects of Math easier, as well as having better concentration levels.
Revive children from any slump or lul in their day and introduce The Rock and Roll Classroom. This handy classroom assistant will help to manage moods and energy during a class, boosting enjoyment, concentration and ultimately, learning!
Set up a creative space for children to allow them to access musical play independently within your setting. You can do so in your classroom, or out in the playground where children of all ages and abilities can come together to interact, improvise and help one another learn through playing and exploring different instruments.
We recommend installing your inspiring musical space in your kindergarten setting, your playground or as part of a sensory play space.
I didn’t realize that playing music can aid concentration and communication skills. My 15-year-old son wants to start practicing his guitar more and eventually put on his own performance. It sounds like this would be a worthwhile hobby for me to support since it has so many creative and practical benefits.