Columnists

Music education uniquely enriching

Educational Journey with EPHAT MUDENDA
MUSIC is part of humanity. People do sing it and play it on instruments. In its strictest sense, however, it is supposed to be learnt.

And schools that offer music lessons in the country should be supported fully by all stakeholders in the education system.
The art, as part of education which aims to mould children into academically, socially and emotionally well-rounded citizens, positively contributes to setting the foundation for learners’ future successes.
Parents and teachers would do well to take into consideration the fact that learning music makes it possible for an individual to easily learn other subjects and enhance different skills to be applied in other areas.
Mary Luehrisen, of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation (USA), says, “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving brings great benefits to children as they progress into more formal learning.” Research has proved that learning to play a musical instrument helps young people to fine-tune their ears and enhances skills needed in education and social interaction.
Music and mathematics are very closely connected. Musical knowledge, including rhythm, beat, scales, etc., enables the learner to understand division, create fractions, and recognise patterns. Co-ordination and motor skills are enhanced while playing instruments such as a piano or guitar which demands different actions from one’s left and right hands at the same time. The use of ears and eyes, and small and large muscles, at the same time, is great training for one’s development into adulthood.
As it encourages teamwork, music helps in the promotion of social skills among children. Sharing a love for certain types of music creates a bond which acts as a basis on which young ones begin to socialise. When group interaction and problem-solving are encouraged from an early stage, an individual will know and understand that they have a vital role to play in the larger group – the society.
Besides instilling discipline and patience into the learner, music enhances self-esteem. Learning how to play an instrument takes time. One has to persevere through weeks, months and years of practice before reaching certain goals, such as playing an instrument in a church musical group or a secular musical band.
When children understand that no one is perfect, but that there is always room for everyone to improve, some ground for building self-confidence will have been laid. Then, through music, the skill of presenting oneself in public is nurtured. Since a child’s communicative competence is developed in this way, this skill easily translates into public speaking.
Luehrisen says as young ones come into this world ready to decode sounds, music education enhances their natural abilities to easily engage in the art. “…those inborn capacities need to be reinforced, practised, [and] celebrated, which can be done at home or in a more formal music education setting.”
Music affects people’s cultures in different ways. By learning various types of music and instruments, including their origins and how they have evolved to the present time, children will become familiar with other people’s cultures. In this way, just like general education does, music education promotes open-mindedness about cultures and traditions found in other parts of the world.
Different activities involved in music entail using more of your brain. The kind of intelligence that is developed in children can be employed – as they grow – to solve different problems they would later encounter in engineering, art, information and communications technology, and other careers they will pursue in adult life.
Music education plays on one’s mental, emotional and cognitive abilities. As the brain is stimulated to think out of the ordinary, the result is improved creativity. Let’s help our children.
Enjoy the festive period.
emudenda@daily-mail.co.zm/ ephatm@yahoo.com


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