Beethoven boost: Classical music may help younger children concentrate in class, U.K. experts say
Exposing children to Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn and Mendelssohn at a young age can boost their concentration and self-discipline, new research suggests.
Allowing students as young as seven to listen to classical music in primary school can have a significant boost to educational benefits, it was claimed.
The study — by the University of London’s Institute of Education — found that children are likely to appreciate a wider range of music in later years after being given an early grounding in some of history’s most famous composers.
It develops students’ listening skills, teaching them to appreciate the complexities of different genres, researchers found. But the process of listening to classical performances also enabled children to develop other skills needed for careful listening that could have an impact across the curriculum.
Yet a report from Ofsted in 2012 found that music was not being taught often enough in almost two thirds of state primary and secondary schools in England.
Inspectors warned that lessons were “dominated by the spoken or written word, rather than by musical sounds,” with “too much focus on talking or written exercises.”
In the latest study, Susan Hallam, a professor of education and music psychology, evaluated a program developed by Apollo Music Projects that introduces classical music and its composers to pupils aged seven to 10.
She said the project “leads to enhanced listening skills and the development of other skills necessary for careful listening to take place including concentration and self-discipline.”
Teachers rated developing the ability to listen as the main benefit, followed by musical knowledge and development and boosting of concentration levels, aspirations, self-discipline and social skills.