Advancements in neuroscience and neuroimaging technologies over the last 20 years and global research have given us a more complete understanding of how music can affect the brain. For example, it proves the positive impact a formal music education has, not only on a student’s physical capacity and cognitive development, but also how it can benefit their academic abilities across a range of other subjects, namely English and Maths. I observed these benefits while studying for my masters in Education.
As part of a study I did at university, I selected a number of primary schools to assess if a formal music education had an impact upon student grades across their subjects. I discovered that every primary school that had a music teacher achieved higher grades on a consistent basis than those schools who did not.
As the brain is a complex organ, meaning it is difficult to know the precise reason for this trend, the evidence I collected suggests a positive relationship between a music education and academic success. Therefore, I feel confident that the Juilliard-Nord Anglia Performing Arts Programme, co-designed by Juilliard and Nord Anglia Education curriculum and teaching specialists, will benefit our students and contribute to their academic, social and personal success.
The Juilliard Creative Classroom, an extraordinary online collection of educational resources that have been designed to enhance and supplement performing arts curricula, has a range of activities and learning experiences that help students gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of music. Students as young as five are exposed to a wide range of genres, cultures and periods of history. Normally this type of focused learning is often seen much later, at an I/GCSE level, so exposure to this range of music at such a young age is truly inspiring.