“Behavioural testing revealed children who had had some musical training had better melody, rhythm and frequency discrimination. This was confirmed with ECG scans, which measure brain activity. These scans showed the musically trained children were faster to detect patterns in auditory and visual tasks than their peers without musical training.”
It is no secret that learning music is good for the brain. A recent study Statistical learning and auditory processing in children with music training: an ERP study has taken a closer look at the effects of learning music in childhood on auditory and visual skills. Ms Smith recently reported in The Age New study demonstrates a link between music and statistical learning (15 May 2017) quoting Macquarie University auditory cognitive neuroscientist Pragati Mandikal-Vasuki, who explains that “This is the first study to evaluate auditory and visual learning in the same group of people.”
Whilst we continue to note with interest the benefits of music on other areas of learning, the teachers of our subject know that it is the enormously varied content of the music itself that is of the most value. The students who pursue music at St Catherine’s School are consistently organised, creative and pleasant to be around, with a strong eye and ear for beauty and thoughtfulness for others. It is always a great joy for the music educators at St Catherine’s School to monitor the continued development of the students, particularly the many who actively participate in various aspects of the program and avail themselves of every opportunity to perform.
Our Years 9–12 Solo Recital, which was held from 3.45pm on Thursday 11 May, was a delightful afternoon. Many girls use this event as a goal along the way in preparation for an AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board) Grade or VCE performance and all girls were polished in their concert etiquette, bowing beautifully to acknowledge the applause, and indicating the hard work of their accompanist when appropriate.
Congratulations to pianists Ellie Cacopardo (Year 9), Sophie Seng Hpa (Year 12), Olivia Soong Zi Yuan (Year 10), Rui Shu (Maria) Wu (Year 11)and Sophie Yi (Year 7). Outstanding wind players included Rachel Davidson (Year 10) on clarinet, and Lara Nattrass (Year 9) and Hannah Otto (Year 12) on flute. Adrianna Chai (Year 10) performed a beautiful violin solo, and a violin duet by Yixu (Winnie) Wang ( Year 10) and Yu (Monica) Mao (Year 10), which Winnie had transcribed from a recording, was outstanding. Our trio of Sophie’s, namely Sophie Karunaratne (Viola), Sophie Hogan (Viola) and Sophie Turnbull (Violin) also displayed outstanding work. Phoebe Edwards (Year 12) stunned us once again with her superb voice as she continues to refine her VCE Solo Performance program. We can confidently say that the afternoon ended with a bang, as drumkit player Ying (Stella) Liu, performed the hard-rock piece Hammerblow.
Preparations are well underway for our Years 7 and 8 Concert which will be held at the Toorak Uniting Church from 6.30pm on Tuesday 30 May. The Years 7 and 8 Concert Band is one of the leading ensembles which will be playing on the night. Tuesday 16 May, saw international conductor and musician Mr Monte Mumford work with this ensemble, amongst others, to advance the skills needed for the girls to play confidently in an ensemble, with strategies to encourage deep listening and meticulous attention to detail. In a world where time is so precious, the ability to maximise the use of available practice time is a worthy cause, and our girls gained a great deal from his session, which concluded with a plea to the girls to arrive at rehearsals on time, without talking, in order to show respect to their conductor and each other. All classes and ensembles who worked with this great man throughout the day gained a great deal and we cannot help but feel that their perspective on the world and their music has been enhanced.