Music and the Band Program

Thursday, 08 Sept 2022

Over the past few years, we have put a lot of effort into building the band program within the College. Unfortunately, it can be disheartening when children are given permission to quit prematurely. It is not possible to learn an instrument in 6 months! It takes time, practice and discipline – traits that are often in short supply. If children wish to learn an instrument it would not be unreasonable to expect them to make a minimum 2 year commitment. By such time, most children would be well on their way keen to pursue music or would be fairly convinced that it was not for them. We need children for the bands and we need balanced bands – that is, all kinds of instruments. 

There is international acclaim to the value of music education within our society especially at school level. Considerable research has been carried out in various countries around the world verifying the fact. As early as the 1950's a series of experiments were carried out in Hungary to test the benefits of learning music at primary school. This test was only one of several more to follow. The results of which are all very similar.

Music Increases Memorizing Capacity

Music students showed evidence of greater memory training. This is an important quality for students to develop to enable higher academic achievement. 

Music Improves Reasoning Capacity

There is proof from these studies that students learning music had enhanced comprehension skills. A far greater percentage of music students understood the story they were asked to read compared with non-music students. 

Music Also Improves Child's Time Management and Organisational Skills

Students need to organise themselves to attend lessons and band rehearsals and therefore arrangement their schedules to prepare their songs etc for the lessons. They are expected to attend promptly at the correct time and also remember to bring the correct equipment to their lessons and band. This is assisting the child to develop basic life skills. Music students develop and improve these skills over time with the benefits reflected in their academic achievement and success later in life. 

Music Fosters the Development of Team Skills

Music seeks to improve the student's team skills, especially when the student is part of an instrumental music program where they are a member of the band and other ensemble groups. As in other team activities all members have a role to play. All members are important and must learn to work as a team.

Did You Know?

Music is Mathematical -  it is rhythmically based on the subdivision of time into fractions which the students must do instantaneously whilst playing their instrument. This enhances their mathematical ability. 

Music is a Foreign Language - most of the musical terms that are used throughout a piece of music are either Italian, German or French. The musical notation itself is a highly developed form of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. It is believed to be the most complete and universal language. 

Music is History - music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation. Students learn a variety of different types of music including folk songs and songs from various cultures and times – classical, romantic, contemporary period – AND most importantly Jewish. 

Music is Physical Education - learning to play an instrument requires coordination of fingers, hands, arms, cheek and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back, stomach and chest muscles leading to the development of a higher level of athletic fitness. 

Music is one of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences – linguistic, logical/mathematical, musical, bodily/kinaesthetic, spatial/visual, inter/intrapersonal.

Various Other Benefits

Learning a wind instrument can sometimes help with respiratory disorders such as asthma - because of the development of the lungs that occurs in response to playing these instruments.

It also fosters self-expression, emotional intelligence and responsibility. The development of discipline, pride, concentration and social communication as well as the development of physical coordination and problem-solving skills is also fundamentally linked to learning an instrument. 

In Summary: Music improves concentration, listening ability (both internal and external), reading and comprehension ability, mathematical perception, coordination and ability to maintain a relaxed focus and so on.

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