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Music and learning

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It has been well documented that the creative arts can play an important role in nurturing young people as children blossom when engaged using multi-sensory learning opportunities like music and visual arts.{{more}}

An organization in the United States, Kindermusic, notes that young children love music, dancing, painting, playing, and other creative ways to express themselves and make sense of the world around them. However, as if those reasons weren’t enough to include activities like art and music in early childhood education, research indicates that the arts, including music education for kids, significantly impacts cognitive development, increases self-esteem, and actively engages everyone in learning.

How often do we notice students who fail in certain academic areas excelling in music, dance and even sporting activities like soccer and athletics?

It is therefore important that eductors consider ways to implement programmes that help to nurture children who may not be progressing well academically using traditional teaching methods. The education revolution must in fact be a revolution for all and not those alone who are blessed with academic prowess.

Persons like Maxine Mavorne Browne, René Baptiste and Rodney Small must be credited with using dance, cultural arts and music to help nurture students and others that are inclined towards music and the visual and performing arts.

Anyone who has any doubts that music and the arts can take you places just has to look at young pannists Rodney Small and Rejaun Baptiste who, through music, have excelled and made names for themselves.

Small, who failed his first try at the Common Entrance Examination and who came from a low income background, through music is now seen as a local superstar with regional and international ties and in 2015 even graced the cover of the CXC/CSEC magazine.

Small, who has a music degree from the Edna Manley School of the Performing Arts in Jamaica, has not let his popularity get to his head. The recent staging of his Steel Expressions show featured young and upcoming artistes like Milan Compton and Cassique Ollivierre, while some proceeds from his 2014 staging of Steel Expressions helped fund the Arts Alive Symposium in 2015, which sought to impart knowledge on youths who are interested in pursuing the arts and was a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Education and the MIJE Personal Development and Advertising Agency.

Small, officials from the Ministry of Education and Jean Johnney-Findlay of MIJE are currently in the planning stages of phase two of Arts Alive, which is a school tour aimed at the performing arts and self-esteem.

We applaud efforts like these, as music is one of the best ways to aid in early childhood learning, while incorporating music and movement into a child’s learning routine stimulates all areas of the brain.

These proven teaching methods should be more widely embraced as an alternative to traditional methods of teaching, so that more of our children can be reached, giving every child a fair chance at life.

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