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A new study from the University of London’s Institute of Education has found that exposing children to classical music can aid in developing better concentration levels, self-discipline and social skills.
A Professor of education and music psychology, Susan Hallam, conducted a study on 252 children in nine primary schools in the East London districts of Hackney, Bethnal Green and Tower Hamlets. Exposing children aged seven to ten to a range of classical music, Hallam asked students to listen out for certain musical instruments, melodies and rhythms in well-known classical works by Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn.
The results were reported in the UK's Daily Telegraph: “The program lead to enhanced listening skills and the development of increased concentration and self-discipline,” Hallam said. “The children’s positive reactions also suggested that they were ‘open-eared’ and had not developed any prejudices against classical music.”
Teachers also noted a positive change in their students. The boosting of children's concentration levels was rated as the program’s main benefit, followed by the increase in musical knowledge, improved self-discipline and social skills. Some staff also pointed to notable improvements in English comprehension.
Mary Igoe, a former head teacher at Columbia Primary School in Bethnal Green said: “The skills of Susan's program involving careful listening and differentiating musical sounds transferred to other areas of the curriculum, improving students’ ability to concentrate and attend to details."