What's Happening in Character Education?

3 Ways to Improve Learning, Social Relationships and Character with Music

Posted by Lynne Kenney on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 @ 09:01 AM

When we think of music, often what comes to mind is song. We may think of Broadway musicals, Bach or Justin Timberlake. In our minds we might imagine orchestras or pianists. Music has been central to civilization for thousands of years. In fact, before we had language we used musical tones and sounds to communicate. The tone of a grunt signaled a message in our prehistoric ancestors, while the beat of a drum brought village people together in unity far and wide. What we think of a little less often is what music is made of and how it impacts our learning, behavior and social relationships.

Music is all around us as we hear the subway cling and clatter, the pitter-patter of our children’s footsteps and the ambient noise inherent in life.Music engages our sensory, motor and auditory pathways in the brain fostering engagement and synchronicity (Patel & Iverson, 2014). Curiously, the ability to synchronize with a beat is associated with learning language and grammar (Corriveau & Goswami, 2009; Gordon et al. 2015).

At its core music is made of beats and rhythms that create sound, melody and even movement. These beats
and rhythms are meaningful scaffolds we can use in school, at home and in life to enhance foundational aspects of our learning, behavior and character.

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Topics: character, Music

The Rhythm of Relationships

Posted by Jennifer Patterson on Wed, Dec 23, 2015 @ 09:12 AM

By Jennifer Paterson, Founder & President of California Music Studios

The impact that music can have on our lives is incredible. Exposure to music can shape our emotions, advance our intelligence, and impact our future, starting in the womb and continuing throughout our lives. The right melodies, in the right moments, can be essential to nourishing better emotional, physical, and mental growth - trigger states of calm during stress, or offer motivation in times of need. On top of this, music can also build and strengthen relationships, improve social skills, and act as a bridge for human connection.

It's no surprise that you'll often hear music playing wherever you see a group of children. Even when playing as background noise, music can help to develop the social skills of children by bringing them together. This avenue for communication doesn't stop in childhood either. Consider the benefits of musical therapy - an established treatment route in mental health used to address emotional, cognitive, social, and physical needs. Through musical therapy, patients strengthen their ability to communicate with others, allowing for improved engagement, and offering a form of expression for feelings too difficult to describe.

But how exactly does the connection between music and forming relationships work? How can music form a basis for higher levels of confidence, improved interaction, and strengthened social skills?

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Topics: Relationship Building, Music, Extracurricular