Many studies have shown children that participate in music throughout their academic career tend to have better grades, test scores and attendance. A recent study from Queensland Universtity of Technology (QUT) finds music and movement can also improve the ability to regulate emotions in pre-school-aged children.
As Parentology has reported, social-emotional readiness in young students is an indicator of academic success. A child’s ability to control themselves and remain attentive in the classroom at a young age is directly linked to future success. Research has shown children from lower socio-economic backgrounds often aren’t as emotionally ready to begin school. QUT’s new study reveals how music can positively impact that issue.
Associate Professor, Kate Williams designed the program to impact the factors integral to early learning. “Being able to control your own emotions, cognition and behaviors is an important predictor of school readiness and early school achievement.”
Through the program, 113 pre-school students from lower socio-economic backgrounds participated in rhythm and movement activities directly correlated to pathways in the brain affecting attention and emotional development. The children attended classes twice a week over an eight-week period. After students completed the program, teachers reported improvement in self-regulation, emotional control, cognitive and behavioral regulation.
Williams believes the program provides the “music advantage” to kids who normally wouldn’t have access to it. Music instruction has been linked to higher executive functioning and better neural plasticity.
Per Willliams, “Children who most need the music advantage miss out because it isn’t affordable for all families to access highly quality music programs.”
Williams’ hope is the program can be utilized by pre-school teachers as part of their curriculum and will enable students from all backgrounds to be ready for academic and emotional success.