The Multiple Benefits of Music

For many young people, fitting in at school can feel like the hardest thing in the world. Not everyone is blessed with the ability to walk into any social situation without a care. The more “different” a young person feels, the more isolated they become…so how can we curb this downward spiral?

Research has shown that music is a great way to connect with other people. This is especially true for younger people. Joining musical ensembles, with like-minded people, helps to develop a person’s interpersonal skills. Being a member of a musical group can help an individual’s social skills whilst also promoting teamwork and friendship. At YCIS students often have the opportunity to travel as part of a group. They may join in the Seeds of Hope concert or travel to take part in international competitions.

Not only does learning an instrument help children socially, their academic learning skills will benefit too. It has been shown that music training enhances a child’s spatial-temporal reasoning. This further improves memory span and performance in mathematics. In-depth research and numerous studies have shown that young children who are immersed in general music learning, develop their motor skills along with increased patience, discipline and concentration, faster than those who are not. At YCIS, music has always been a fundamental part of learning, with the aim of nurturing students’ academic and emotional skills alongside their motor skills. Developing into professional composers or performers is just an added bonus! YCIS offers a variety of general music lessons, as well as band sessions, orchestra practices and even private classes where students can specialize in their instrument of choice.

YCIS values music education so highly that it has developed the YCIS Violin Programme which was initiated by Dr. Betty Chan, YCIS Director and School Supervisor, and a team of education experts. The programme is for students from K4 to Year 3. Students receive violin lessons from K4, as part of their learning curriculum. No wonder YCIS students do so well!

The US National Library of Medicine – National Institute of Health, published a report showing that string players have larger brains and are more responsive to finger motions. Those who started strings learning earlier showed the greatest development and were able to demonstrate higher processing speeds while attempting tasks. It was noted that intensity and length of practice did not have a significant impact on the process – it was the learning itself which was important.

Managing the demands of the academic curriculum and learning an instrument, teaches students to organise their time well and increases the skills we describe as executive function. These skills are highly sought after in a 21st century workforce.

At every stage of schooling at YCIS, students are encouraged to explore their creativity. The artist in residence programme helps to foster the talents and interests of the students. Examples of this creativity can be seen all around the campuses. Students at YCIS are provided with an all-rounded education. With a balance of academics, sports, art and music, they are sculpted into globally thinking and multi-talented individuals.

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