Why do we teach music to children?
We teach music to children so that they can make their own music, that is, compose their own music. We teach music to children so that they can have access to the enormous repertoire of music from all over the world. We teach music to children so that they can think in the abstract, develop high levels of aural imagination and engage in complex and complicated problem-solving tasks with composition. We teach children music so that they can learn to sing and later choose an instrument they might wish to learn.
What do we teach to children?
We teach children a wide and varied repertoire of songs, games and dances using their natural voices and movement accompanied from time-to-time with classroom instruments, from which children learn all the skills associated with composition; notation- reading and writing; improvisation vocal and instrumental, notation – graphic and conventional.
When do we teach children music?
From pre-school at the earliest through songs, games and dances, and then onwards more formally from Kindergarten through to high school. At an appropriate stage every child should have access to some form of on-going instrumental tuition under the guidance of an expert instrumental teacher.
Who teaches children music?
The most highly-trained specialist music teachers possible.
What are the benefits of teaching music to children?
Music has to be heard to be comprehended. It is abstract sound which passes through time. It requires from its listeners the highest forms of listening and the highest forms of concentration leading to the highest forms of thinking. It is capable of evoking, suggesting and implying limitless numbers of emotional reactions in the child which then play upon the mind and the imagination of the child. It has the power to reach the hearts, minds and spirits of children and in so doing provides intense joy and satisfaction to the listener. Music has been and remains a powerful form of human communication in most societies on earth. Children need to have this experience as part of their humanising process.
Children engaged in a seriously planned and well-taught curriculum of music have advantages in all other fields of study within the school curriculum; language, reading, writing, number, sciences and the like. There is a wealth of statistical information proving this. To deny a child a thorough music education is to deny the child access to the highest levels of any learning. Children with a music background listen better, concentrate longer, think more clearly, work happily in abstraction, are less distracted in class and tend to be high achievers in all fields of study. The study of musical instruments leading to performances in ensembles, orchestras and the like provides children with unique musical and social experiences. Here, as with choral singing, children are brought to the highest levels of group participation requiring intense commitment, highly developed skills in co-ordination and a highly evolved sense of musicality and expressiveness.
(From: "Why We Teach Music to Children" - By Richard Gill)