We were very happy to award Bayford Church of England School a grant to buy and install a high-quality outdoor cadenza for their outdoor music ensemble project. As Malcom Foster (Headmaster) explained:
By creating an area in the playground with outdoor musical instruments, it will allow every child in the school to continue their musical interest at lunchtimes and playtimes, enjoying playing together in a less structured way.
In time, with more instruments, we will also conduct outdoor music lessons, taking portable instruments to supplement the fixed ones. Through the installation of outdoor musical instruments we believe that children will become further engaged in music as we strive to become further known in Hertfordshire for our excellent musical engagement.
Malcom certainly did his research in order to fully explain the many benefits of the project:
It has been proven that music is able to holistically develop children and research shows music can create improvements in a number of ways:
• Language and literacy skills
o Music experiences enhance processing of speech and language which impacts on learning to read.
o Music training develops skills to perceive auditory patterns between phonemes, also having a positive impact on reading.
• Some research shows a correlation between music tuition and improvements in some areas of maths, such as patterns, sequences and fractions.
• In a study of IQ, children in groups who had music lessons increased their IQ more than children who had not.
• Personal and social skills are developed – learning an instrument can create a sense of achievement, increase self-esteem, increase confidence and improve self-discipline which combine to create motivation for learning in general.
o Participating in musical groups promotes friendships, social skills, team-work, a sense of belonging and development of trust and respect.
• Improvements have been seen in physical development, health and well-being. Learning to play instruments enhances fine motor skills and research shows that singing may bring health benefits to: the immune system, breathing, good posture, improved mood and stress reduction.
We were also impressed by the efforts Bayford has made to gather instruments from other sources and raise money from other sources. Let’s hope the weather holds for the budding young musicians.