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In Washington's high schools, an intriguing correlation has emerged between students who actively engage in music courses and their academic success in other subjects. Recent studies have revealed that high school students immersed in music education consistently demonstrate significantly higher scores in exams, particularly in subjects like math and science. This correlation underscores the invaluable role of music education not only in nurturing a love for the arts but also in providing a holistic educational experience that resonates positively across diverse academic disciplines, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

In a comprehensive analysis encompassing over 112,000 student records, it was revealed that a notable 13% of students had actively participated in at least one music course during their high school journey in grades 10, 11, or 12. This statistic underscores the substantial presence of music education within the academic landscape. The diverse pool of students engaged in music courses reflects a significant cohort appreciating and benefiting from the enrichment provided by musical learning during their critical high school years. Qualifying music courses included concert band, conservatory piano, orchestra, jazz band, concert choir and vocal jazz. These findings illuminate the pervasive influence of music education, demonstrating its meaningful integration into the educational experiences of a considerable portion of the student population, according to Gouzouasis and his co-authors, Martin Guhn, PhD and Scott Emerson, MSc, also from the University of British Columbia.

According to Peter Gouzouasis, PhD, of the University of British Columbia, an author of the study of more than 100,000 Canadian students. "In public education systems in North America, arts courses, including music courses, are commonly underfunded in comparison with what are often referred to as academic courses, including math, science and English.” The research was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology®.

He also added that, “Students who participated in music, who had higher achievement in music, and who were highly engaged in music had higher exam scores across all subjects, while these associations were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music,”

The researchers hope that their findings are brought to the attention of students, parents, teachers and administrative decision-makers in education, as many school districts over the years have emphasized numeracy and literacy at the cost of other areas of learning, particularly music.

Article: “A Population-Level Analysis of Associations Between School Music Participation and Academic Achievement,” by Martin Guhn, PhD, Scott D. Emerson, MSc, and Peter Gouzouasis, PhD, The University of British Columbia. Journal of Educational Psychology. Published online June 20, 2019.


Our Music Team are passionate about taking music students in at all levels of their schooling from Primary School to Senior High School and the HSC.

We see a clear benefit in a student's life where a study-life balance occurs between studying and engaging in playing music for enjoyment. Or for students taking music for the HSC, we are there to support and mentor our students toward achieving their greatest results possible as a HSC music student.

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Discover why music and movement is so beneficial for toddlers and preschoolers and how you can incorporate it into your week.

When it comes to young children, music and movement come together quite naturally. It’s not uncommon to see young children move to the beat or sing along to a nursery rhyme. The good news is, what initially seems like musical play, is a powerful tool that can build motor skills, develop social skills, and even support brain development.

So, what exactly is music and movement, and how can we help our toddlers and pre-schoolers to get the most benefit from it? We’ve summed up everything you need to know into this useful blog.

What is music and movement?

Music and movement activities allow children to use their bodies to explore music and musical concepts. Children are encouraged to use their bodies to respond to music, interpret music and make music. This could include activities such as stomping like an elephant to a piece of music with a loud beat, chanting, drumming, or movement songs that have accompanying actions.

These types of activities can be undertaken in a class environment or at home and are quite easy (and beneficial) to incorporate into your daily life.

What are the benefits of music and movement for children?

Long before a child can speak, they are communicating with their bodies. Adding movement to music supports the language development of even the youngest child. A simple song such as head, shoulders, knees, and toes can help a baby learn about their body parts, whereas a chant can help an older child learn about keeping the beat.

When conducted in a class environment, children are encouraged to develop their listening skills as they follow along with the instructions. Music-making with other children gives them the opportunity to practice sharing, listening and social skills, such as restraint when all the exciting instruments are brought out to share.

Holding onto ribbons or silks and playing instruments also helps develop fine motor skills. Dancing, jumping and songs with actions support the development of gross motor skills. The creative nature of music and movement classes means that children nurture their bodies and their brains at the same time.

Do I need to attend music classes?

Children naturally love music, but unless it’s nurtured, many adults develop a disconnect. Yes, we love listening to the radio and singing our favourite tune in the privacy of our car, but when it comes to leading musical play with our little ones, we can feel a little awkward.

Music classes can help build our confidence to undertake music and movement activities with our children and grandchildren. They are a great source of inspiration, encouragement, and fun. It’s much easier to repeat an activity that you’ve learnt in class than to search Google for inspiration. That said, music and movement is not limited to those who can make it to a class. And even those who attend classes can reap the benefits of incorporating musical activities into their week.

Easy music and movement activities you can do at home

Here are some of our favourite musical activities that incorporate music and why we love them:

  • Simon says – Pop some music on and play Simon Says like you’d play a game of musical freeze. This game supports listening, gross motor skills and language development.

  • Marching to a beat – Find a piece of rhythmic music and march to the beat. This can be on the spot or moving around the house. We love this one when it’s time to pack up or leave the park. Pop the marching music on and watch as your little ones fall into line behind the leader.

  • Dancing animals – Ask your child to pick an animal and how that animal would dance if they were able. Pop on a song and see what they come up with. This activity engages your child’s creativity and gross motor skills.

  • Open shut them – This classic song is perfect for developing little hands and builds language skills with its repetitive lyrics. 

  • Percussion fun – Bells, drums and shakers are lots of fun ways to explore percussion. You can use instruments or make your own with items around the house. Even young babies enjoy making sounds with wrist shakers, and instruments with handles are easy for younger children to hold. Play along to a song or make your own. We love how open-ended this activity is.

Once you start incorporating music and movement into your week, you’ll soon gain confidence and the opportunity to connect with your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do music and movement activities improve gross motor skills?

Toddlers and preschool-aged children benefit from activities that allow them to practice a skill repetitively and activities that encourage them to move their bodies in new ways. Moving to music encourages children to practise gross motor skills such as jumping, skipping, and walking. Making a game of movement means that children can explore new ways of moving their bodies and build strength and coordination as they do so.

Why is movement important in music?

Research shows that when you move your body, you boost your ability to remember, recall and understand. When children move to music, it engages more parts of their brains than if they were to remain still. Repetitive movement and singing also aid language development and allow young children to remain engaged with music for longer periods of time.

Is music developmentally beneficial for toddlers and pre-schoolers?

Yes, research shows that music has many developmental benefits for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Children who partake in music and movement activities regularly will benefit both physically and cognitively. Plus, it’s also a lot of fun and a great chance for bonding.

Interested In Joining A Class?

At the Music Space, we run a research-based program called Music Together®. Our program is the perfect early childhood activity for families with children between 0 and 5.

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Most toddlers find music irresistible. Pop on a song, and you’ll see their nappy-clad bottoms wiggling along in no time. Young children are drawn to making music, and while moving to the beat is a lot of fun, parents and caregivers will be happy to know that music also benefits childhood development.

The developmental benefits of music for toddlers are broad. What may feel like play is a powerful way to shape your child’s mind. So, why not pop on some background music as you read…

The Benefits of Music for Children

Listening to music at home is wonderful, but making music is even more powerful. In fact, a study conducted by the University of Southern California found that music has the ability to shape children’s brains. Participating in music classes builds on the neuroplasticity of the brain, which has the potential to accelerate the development of language, reading and other skills.

When participating in a music program such as Music Together® and encouraging learning through music, parents and carers can help children with:

1. Social-Emotional Development and Social Skills

Participating in group music activities encourages children to self-regulate and build self-confidence and a feeling of competence. Group activities help build leadership and the ability to practise turn-taking and impulse control. Music also encourages self-expression.

2. Fine and Gross Motor Skills

The benefits of music for toddlers are also physical. When using instruments, children are challenged to use fine and gross motor skills to play them. Music and movement activities encourage children to use their whole body, which can build coordination, flexibility and timing.

3. Building Close Relationships

Participating in music activities with a child strengthens your bond, and it also encourages children to interact with each other in new and interesting ways. Music helps children [and their carers] to connect through play and movement in ways that may otherwise feel awkward. Children learn by example, and when they see those that care for them engaging and interacting with music, their desire to connect and engage through musical play grows too.

4. Supporting Cognitive Development

The connection between maths and music is quite profound. Songs and rhythmic chants introduce children to the concepts of patterns, counting and proportions. Movement allows children to explore the concept of cause and effect. Singing allows children to explore new ways to use their voices, supports their phonological awareness, builds their vocabulary and supports their active listening skills.

5. Build Self Confidence and Self Esteem

One of the benefits of music for toddlers is the encouragement of self-expression and exploration. Children learn to use their own voice, utilise physical space and connect with the music in their own unique way.

Singing, dancing, and clapping are mood-boosting activities that aid children in feeling excited and encouraged to learn new songs and skills. When children play music, it builds a sense of accomplishment and strengthens the connection between the control they have over their bodies and the objects they interact with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What music helps toddlers’ brain development?

The complex composition of classical music is often noted as being the best type of music for brain development. We use different genres of music that have been carefully selected to teach musical concepts such as beat, rhythm and repetition. Exposing children to a broad range of genres allows children to experience music in all of its different forms and enjoy the variety and expression of the artist and their own interaction with the song.

Do all children have musical talent?

We believe that all children have an innate musical talent. Our program is based on research that shows that all children can learn to sing in tune and have a sense of rhythm, and our classes work to develop these skills in both the children and grownups who attend a Music Together® class.

When should a toddler start music lessons?

Children can [and should] be immersed in music from birth. Our classes cater to children between 0 and 5 years old.

The Benefits of Music for Toddlers – Music Together® Classes

At The Music Space, we use a research-based learning program called Music Together®. Our program is suitable for babies, toddlers and preschool children and is a fun and interactive way to reap the benefits of music for toddlers and children.

Want to connect with your child through music? Join a Music Together® class today.

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