Recently, I gave a presentation at the Princeton Public Library to discuss how developmentally-appropriate music learning enhances learning in all domains. I was so pleased to talk with caregivers and teachers about the physical, intellectual, emotional, and social benefits that are gained through active music-making experiences. In particular, I spoke about Music Together’s early childhood curriculum and our deep commitment to helping families and preschool professionals understand the multi-faceted value of informal musical experiences. The presentation included plenty of music time, too—we sang, played instruments, and made good use of our “Silly Quotients.”
Music Together teachers know how music-making supports all the ways children are learning. They see children recognize the objects in songbook pictures. They see them bouncing confidently to a beat. Every day, in Music Together parent-child classes and preschool programs around the world, we see evidence of cognitive, language, physical, and social-skill development right alongside music development. And now, there is solid research that validates our everyday observations.
In Bridgeport, Connecticut, a study showed that children who participated in the Music Together Preschool program made significantly greater progress in cognitive, language, and physical learning than children who did not participate in the program. Participation in Music Together® Preschool also seems to have helped these children in social-emotional development.
Another study, in Trenton, New Jersey, affirms that, in addition to supporting the skills necessary for school readiness, music-making activities bring families closer together. 96% of the parents who responded to a survey reported that their children asked them to play the Music Together CDs (which are sent home as part of the preschool program model), either sometimes or all the time.
Classroom teachers who participated in the Trenton program were also enthusiastic about the opportunity to learn Music Together teaching strategies and curriculum and to integrate music-making into their daily routines. 85% of the teachers who responded to a survey reported a desire for Music Together to return to their classrooms.
Our greatest goal at Music Together is for families to love making music, whether it’s in the classroom, at home, in the car, or at the grocery store—not because it’s “the right thing to do,” but simply because making music feels good! When people participate in the music of their culture, and do so with ease and joyful abandon, it’s life-affirming. Yes, music learning supports all learning—and it also supports our inherent need to be expressive, creative human beings.