Playing Music at School Boosts Academic Achievement

Waldorf schools are known for teaching through the arts, including music. A child’s experience of music at a Waldorf school begins in the early childhood classroom with the many songs sung together as a class. Singing continues through the duration of Waldorf education as a daily exercise. First graders learn to play simple songs together on the pentatonic flute and go on to play rounds and then multi-part songs on the recorder beginning in third grade. At EWS we teach students to read music notation in third grade to prepare students for their study of a stringed instrument in fourth grade. Waldorf students will then study their individual instrument as well as learn to play as a group with their class in fourth through eighth grade.

The connection between studying an instrument and increased proficiency in math is well documented. A recent study shows a correlation between continuing music through middle and high school and overall academic achievement. Psychology Today has interviewed the authors of the study in a recent publication.

“Often, resources for music education—including the hiring of trained, specialized music educators, and band and stringed instruments—are cut or not available in elementary and secondary schools so that they could focus on math, science, and English,” Gouzouasis emphasized. “The irony is that music education—multiple years of high-quality instrumental learning and playing in a band or orchestra or singing in a choir at an advanced level—can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools.”

Find the whole article from Psychology Today here.