Earlier this week I wrote about 2 music lessons I delivered in the outdoors. We explored notation and the reasons why we might want to visually record a composition. We also explored a range of musical terms and finally, we created short musical compositions. Whilst the lessons met the desired outcomes, I know that a music specialist would take the children’s learning further. I know this as early in my teaching career I was lucky enough to work in schools with music teachers.
Music really is one of those things in life where you either feel confident at it or not. A primary teacher needs to teach every curricular subject and there will be some where they simply do not feel confident. I would suggest a lot of teacher’s do not feel confident with their own musical abilities and therefore their competence to teach music in depth. However, music education is essential because:-
- it develops children’s communication skills
- it develops creative thinking skills
- it aids memorisation
- children learn relaxation techniques which are important for mental health
- it leads to a sense of achievement, whether learning a new instrument or composition
- it develops team work skills
- feedback within music can help children develop resilience when receiving feedback in other curricular areas, therefore helping them improve work throughout the curriculum
- children learn to recognise patterns, which helps with maths and literacy
- it can increase coordination
- possibly most importantly, it can improve self confidence
The rewards in high quality music education are clear. They even extend across the full curriculum. However, teachers, as much as they will try their best, may not be the best people to teach children music. Yet councils are continually cutting budgets for music education. A music teacher within a primary school is almost a mythical being these days. Surely though, the benefits of music should play a key part in the provision, we wouldn’t get rid of literacy because books are too expensive, so why music?