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Music Maestro, Please!

29/11/2016 11:41

Did you know recent research on how the teenage brain works has found that the main theme music from the Star Wars film series composed by John Williams, was useful during maths revision. Whilst Hans Zimmer's score to Pirates of the Caribbean really helped students to mug up on science!

But that's not all.

Did you also know that where Mindfulness has been introduced into a class-room room setting, attainment levels across a range of subjects have improved, and not least in Maths!

So, what if we were to put music and mindfulness together and perhaps add into the mix a dash of the Sistema approach too? What improvements might we then see in the current and future life opportunities for our young?

In a recent piece I wrote on Mindfulness and Education, 'Is Mindfulness WD40 for Education?', I suggested the following:

"Let's invest early in the lives of our children, so that they can grow-up to become independent, creative, collaborative, resilient, resourceful, productive and happy adults, able to contribute fully both economically and socially".


Getting It Right For Every Child

Surely that's an integral part of what the focus of Education should be about, if not the minimum position. Should we not set the bar as high as we can and then raise our expectations and efforts to leap even further above in order that we do Get It Right For Every Child every time!

Children who are taught to be Mindful - To pay Attention in the Present, intentionally and without judgement, are better positioned to succeed both in school and in later life.

Mindfulness Provides An Inside Track

They are getting the inside track on developing an emotional and social skill for living smarter, happier and healthier lives. They are developing their resourcefulness and building their resilience. They are clearing their minds, focusing their Attention and tapping into their creativity and ingenuity.

We know with the introduction of Mindfulness practices into the classroom, such as 'Three Minute' breathing exercises and keeping 'Gratitude Journals' for example, that this all becomes possible.

Music Gives Soul To The Universe

We also know that Music Education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them - A world of work, culture, intellectual activity and human engagement.

Plato wrote that, "Music gives soul to the universe and wings to the mind". I would suggest that all our bright tomorrows depend on our young people having the opportunity to experience music in some shape or form, as well as Mindfulness.


Mindfulness & Music For All Children

We need to encourage the young to be practically and emotionally engaged with each and with music I also take this to mean, where possible, on an academic level as well.

And whilst most children derive very real and fundamental benefits from engaging in practical music and being exposed to musical culture, this is especially true for those from lower-income backgrounds. However, it is those who most often miss out because of the cost.

It then follows that only those pupils whose parents can afford for their children to engage with music from an early age, playing an instrument at school, joining a youth orchestra, are the ones who will most likely go on to take music at GSCE and A' Level.

If such a divide is set economically and socially from an early age, then aren't we all losers?
That is why, along with introducing Mindfulness into our schools, we should be looking for ways to broaden access to Music for all children, and this is where the Sistema approach comes in.

Sistema Scotland

This is an offshoot of the El Sistema project pioneered in Venezuela and has had a remarkable impact in areas of acute deprivation in Scotland. Big Noise schemes in those areas have resulted in better school attendance and projected whole-life benefits for participants, such as greater community cohesion and economic gains over the medium and longer term, improved health and educational outcomes.

Whilst the parents of the children involved report almost exclusively that they are happier, more focussed and better behaved.


Accessibility, Availability, Affordability

Mindfulness is proving its efficacy and cogency not just in Education, but in many areas of Society. Couple this and the transforming power of music to the principles of accessibility, availability and affordability for the young, and I think as a Society we will move ever closer to the Mindful Revolution I talk about on page 78 of my Book, 'Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful'.

It's rather important, don't you think?

As an Executive Director with Mudd Partnership I work with business leaders, organisations and individuals to enable them to be the best they can be, lead with excellence and introduce Mindfulness into the workplace, &, I can be contacted at paul@themuddpartnership.co.uk

As well as also being a regular blogger on a range of platforms and a global Wellbeing and Well Doing Influencer, I am author of 'Uncovering Mindfulness: In Search Of A Life More Meaningful' available on Amazon, the 'Coffee & A Cup Of Mindfulness'and the 'Mindful Hacks For Mindful Living & Mindful Working'series, and presenter of the 'From Mindfulness With Love' series available free on iTunes.

You can follow the continuing journey uncovering Mindfulness on Twitter @TheMindfulBook and all the other stuff @Paul_Mudd and @muddpartnership

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