“Numerous international research papers have proven that learning a musical instrument leads to better academic performance”, says Long Bay College Music teacher and Auckland Jazz Orchestra conductor, Mr Tim Atkinson. He cites a recent study published in the American Journal of Educational Psychology where the school records of nearly 113,000 students linked long term music engagement with better senior exam scores in Mathematics, Science and English compared to those who did not participate.
Academic success was particularly evident amongst those students involved in their school orchestra and band programmes whose results were, on average, one year ahead of their non-musical peers.
“Learning an instrument is an outlet for creativity; it provides a way to socially connect within our school environment, communicate ideas and helps students build confidence. It’s exciting that musical training also has a powerful impact on the brain’s working memory, which is a vital component of academic learning,” Mr Atkinson says.
Long Bay College is well known for its culture of creativity and care and is committed to providing students with the finest music tutors in New Zealand, across a broad range of instruments. Students can learn the Cello, Flute, French Horn and Double Bass to name a few. Year 9 students are offered weekly tuition for free and sessions which are scheduled during the school day.
“The teenage years are a time when the brain is going through significant development as it builds and strengthens connections. Learning an instrument during this time is a fantastic way to enhance cognitive capability,” says Mr Atkinson.
“Over the years, we’ve witnessed many of our Year 9 music students going on to achieve academic success, even becoming Dux or Prefect leaders. It’s such an excellent way to develop so many skills and create a sense of belonging at school.”