Music not only makes children happy, it also helps them develop and learn.

As a new report stresses how important music is in children’s lives, Head of Content ANDREW HIRST looks at how children benefit from making and listening to music and how parents can get involved while in Kirklees the commitment remains to let every primary school child have a go at playing a musical instrument.

MUSIC has a vital role to play in young children’s lives and the skills they learn can stand them in good stead throughout their lives.

A new report has revealed that music not only makes children happy, it also helps them develop and learn.

But with Government funding for music in schools being slashed from £82.5m a year to just £60m, it’s more important than ever for parents to encourage musical creativity at home, says Dr Barbie Clarke, a child social psychologist who has just written a report into the educational, social and therapeutic benefits of music for children.

Barbie, who wrote the report as part of the new Persil Get Messy With Music campaign, said: “Encouraging children to sing, to pick up anything that’s lying around to help to make sound and rhythm and to join in family events in a musical way will help your child to connect socially, improve their learning and can also be therapeutic. Above all, music should be fun and enjoyable – not something that’s forced or too formal.’’

In Kirklees all primary school children get a chance to try a musical instrument and the impact it has on some of them is amazing.

Kirklees Music School teachers teach whole classes – mainly in Year Four – about music but its impact reaches far further.

Kirklees Music School principal Thom Meredith said: “It’s all about enjoyment but there are so many others skills involved too such as self-discipline, turn-taking, working together, tolerance of other people and also looking at what they are doing and how they can improve it.

“They also improvise, think on their feet and are creative. All these are transferable skills and are just what employers are looking for.

“You can also talk about subjects such as history, geography and even math through music.’’