The UK government’s National Curriculum subject of music for 5- to 11-year-old children is in desperate need of a boost as an educationally overlooked, but highly social, vehicle of communication between people.
Music is a ubiquitous communication tool permeating society 24/7 through radio, television, stage productions and online digital platforms such as YouTube and Spotify.
Every country has its music identity and, if Andre Rieu’s concerts are the yardstick to go by, there is a shared identity across many countries and continents.
Music is a key component of religions and religious festivals such as Christmas and provides unique identity to religions — for example, Gregorian chant, gospel music, the Islamic call to prayer, or the wind and percussion instruments of Mahayana Buddhism.
The life-based approach to learning gives increased status to music in the curriculum.
Children learn an instrument to play to others, learn a song to sing to others, learn about different kinds of music to share with others and bring their experiences of music into the school to share.
Children learn the more varied their own tastes in music, the more opportunities there are in life to share people’s different tastes in music and the more they improve their options to communicate with others.
Through music, children’s confidence, self-esteem and emotional resilience improves as does their brain development and ability in other subjects.
The school itself models music’s powerful connection to others through class lessons, assemblies, concerts, choirs, drama productions and talent shows.
As previously posted on this website, the ‘Standing Ovation Project’ uses music and the arts to strengthen children’s sense of community.