Aritum Academy: Why Kids Must Learn Music From Early Age
Music training can thus be a phenomenal memory enhancer in children. Rhythm training ignites and charges the inner metronome and calculator
Since time immemorial, the ability of humans to learn and evolve is what has brought us all to this point in time as a species. The ability in Man to comprehend images, patterns, cause-effect and interdependence; and be able to remember, recall, process, analyze, deconstruct, dissect, compare, contrast, infer, visualize, imagine, create, discriminate etc. is what makes him stand apart from the natural world. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that the goal of education today should be to ignite and develop all these skills from an early age.
What Education Ideally Needs to Be
How did the different types of learnings come about? Man’s endeavours to understand the universe and its processes manifested the sciences and man’s endeavours to savour beauty, imagine and create, manifested the arts. Therefore, ideally, education is really the process of making a child experience the essence of human realization. Restricting a child’s education to only the sciences will result in partial development but when education moves into the arts, the inheritance of historical human experience comes full circle and becomes complete. Art and music education not only ignite and develop vital skills but also build character and personality.
Heightening Sensory Perception and Developing Cognitive Ability
Music is not just being able to hold a tune. It involves a lot of practice and training in pitch and rhythmic precision that heighten sensory perception. When students get trained in recognizing and enjoying musical motifs and patterns, their cognitive power gets enhanced. Melody, rhythm, sound textures, volume, dynamics and the play of drama – all come together to give us a heady musical experience. The more we know how it all works together, the more the ‘language’ of music speaks to us — the better we are able to cognate and derive joy from it.
Thus, music training is perhaps the most powerful tool for enhancing cognitive power right from childhood. Art is enjoyed and created only when it touches the aesthetic level of being (touches the soul – as some express it). We owe our children the gift of developing cognition in sync with aesthetics, which will make them appreciate aesthetics across all aspects of life. We often see artists being vibrant, full of life and sharing joy, while many others who slog through life do not experience or spread happiness and harmony.
Empowering Memory and Developing Mathematical Senses
Deep memory is accessed through emotion, of which aesthetic response is an ancillary. A Carnatic musician can remember thousands of keertanams and render them without a score, establishing that memory is empowered by aesthetics and emotional response. Music training can thus be a phenomenal memory enhancer in children. Rhythm training ignites and charges the inner metronome and calculator. Have you ever noticed that when you are climbing a flight of stairs, a few steps before you reach the top landing, you know which foot is going to land on top – left or right!! Our inner clock wakes us up at the intended time without an alarm! This inner arithmetician gets empowered in early music training.
Developing motor skills and muscular /systemic coordination. Becoming Superhuman
Learning instrumental music develops multi-organ coordination, largely between the left and right hands. Children must learn double-handed instruments, where the hands are not mirroring each other, but perform individual actions that coordinate to produce an integral action and experience. Skill training develops both mind and body at very fine dimensions. Unhealthy dependence on technology is causing physical skills and senses to atrophy in humans in comparison to animals. But on balance, humans are the only species that are capable of becoming ‘superhuman’.
No animal in nature becomes a super-animal! Only humans can understand that there is dormant potential than what is manifested even in animals; and we can visualize goals and achieve them. Every child has a right to recognize the superhuman potential within him or her and have the chance to experience it.
Dedicated practice of art develops emotional resilience – fighting against boredom, mental and physical fatigue. When children start reaping the benefits of practice, they begin to appreciate the value of discipline, self-control, emotional balancing and management.
Self-esteem, Sense of Achievement, Confidence
Self-esteem is not only a result of succeeding in the social space, but is primarily a product of an enhanced relationship with oneself. Understanding the game of music, engaging in it, setting goals and achieving them boosts self-view tremendously. Additionally, performance is a great opportunity to overcome stage fear and reap benefits of self confidence in other aspects of life.
Teamwork, social skills
Coordination and cooperation are essential to the fabric of music performance. Group musical activities – including choral singing – develop social skills, respect for teamwork, and sense of responsibility in handing over the baton in a sequential task.
Now – the do’s and don’ts’s of music education in children are critical aspects to be understood and applied. But that’s a topic for another day.
So, parents – enroll your child for a good, enlightened music training program immediately, if not already done. Enroll yourself too! After, all, it’s never too late to make a connection with your inner self!
(The given article has been written by Ananth Vaidyanathan, Chief of Pedagogy at Artium Academy)