From the Director of Student Programs
“In terms of brain development, music performance is every bit as important educationally as reading or writing” Oliver Sacks
Late in Term 1, I was invited to the fortnightly Units 1 and 3 Music Performance concert. This informal concert provides VCE Music Performance students with the opportunity to practise their musical pieces in front of an audience. Naturally, this provides our students opportunity to build confidence with other music repertoire.
Individual Music lessons are also a vital component to the learning of instruments or choral improvements, an exchange that occurs between the student and the teacher. Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, which really teaches patience and perseverance. Practising often and working on the challenging components of music, requires discipline. Practice is integral to the development of skills and musicianship. It is always pleasing to hear from our parents are enjoying the sounds of their daughter practising their musical instruments at home.
There are many scientifically proven benefits for playing and learning a musical instrument; a shortened list is provided below:
- Increased capacity for memory
- Betters your mathematical ability
- Improves your reading comprehension
- Refines time management and organisational skills
- Increases your ability to work with a team
- Teaches you perseverance
- Enhances your coordination
- Fosters your self-expression and relieves stress.
Shoe and Kraus, (2012) confirm in a study, “Playing a musical instrument changes the anatomy and function of the brain”, even benefitting individuals up to seven years later, concluding“ a limited period of music lessons (three years) during childhood fundamentally alters the nervous system such that neural changes persist in adulthood after auditory training has ceased (seven years later)”. The investment from families in their daughters taking individual or group music lessons has long lasting benefits.
Mike Zappa suggests “Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculptured into something”. This theory is evident through our Years 10-12 VCE Music Performance students, who are are learning the ability to take an audience on their own journey through music. This was highlighted in the concert, where I was taken on a journey with the artists, as they brought emotion into their performances. It was also an acknowledgement of the significant investment of their time spent practising.
Skoe, E., & Kraus, N. (2012). A little goes a long way: how the adult brain is shaped by musical training in childhood. Journal of Neuroscience, 32(34), 11507-11510.