14/08/2014 12:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 06:12 BST

Listening To Classical Music Helps Kids Concentrate

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A young boy listens to music on a pair of headphones

If you're looking for an excuse to stop your children polluting their eardrums with Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga (I am), here it is.

For a new study says getting them to listen to classical music will turn them into more focused, disciplined (aka nicer) human beings. Bring out the Beethoven!

Susan Hallam, professor of education and music psychology at the Institute of Education, (IoE), University of London, evaluated a programme developed by Apollo Music Projects which introduces children aged seven to 10 to classical music and composers, such as Beethoven and Mozart.

The scheme involves a whole school assembly followed by six lessons at class level, with children experiencing different instruments and musical concepts and a formal concert.

Musicians explain what children should listen for and launch question and answer sessions.

As the sessions progress, the listening tasks become more complex.

In a report on the scheme – carried out with 4,500 children in 26 primary schools in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, East London - Professor Hallam said children developed 'enhanced listening skills and the development of other skills necessary for careful listening to take place including concentration and self-discipline'.

She said: "For some of the children the programme was inspirational. The children's positive reactions suggest that they were 'open-eared' and had not developed prejudices against classical music.

"We know that preferences for music are affected by the extent to which individuals are exposed to them, the greater the exposure the greater the liking.

"Opportunities to listen extensively to classical music in the early years of primary school are therefore likely to lead to children appreciating a wider range of music than might otherwise be the case."