Why we do it?
– The fact that a child finds learning a rhyme easier with a tune than without is evidence of its nature to grasp notes in a melody more easily than words in a sentence.
– The fact that we clap our hands, tap our feet, scratch an itch, knock on the door and walk on the floor in rhythm is evidence of our nature to stay on a beat.
Music is an indispensable part of of us. It is our natural language and the fundamental code of communication and expression. We do not have to learn music to feel it because we are born with it. Ironically, while we do recognize the need to teach a language to establish a medium of instruction before teaching anything else, we see music as just entertainment despite studies proving that musical activities are total brain workouts that boost cognitive development especially during early childhood. According to Dr. Aniruddh Patel of Tufts University, music engages emotion, memory, learning, plasticity, attention, motor control, pattern perception, imagery and more. Simply put as German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously did, “Without music, life would be a mistake”.
Its scientifically proven potential notwithstanding, music has been inexplicably neglected by the education system in India for decades. As the emphasis of education curricula lies solely on knowledge accumulation at the expense of creative thinking, academic success for students hinges exclusively on their ability to memorize. With the task of imparting information taking precedence over learning, focus of the educators is neither on the learners nor on their individual capacities to learn. This situation gets exponentially worse as we move to the public schools where most of the children are from disadvantaged communities with no hope of any form of music education. It is critical that the education we provide focuses as much on the learners as it does on the lessons.
By using music to enhance cognition and creativity, we need to make children better learners well prepared to face the ever-growing challenges at school and elsewhere. Music educators have to collaborate with institutions to integrate music in the curricula. After all, music is our natural language. The education system must see it that way and celebrate it by helping students take advantage of it to improve their learning, expression, creativity, problem-solving and emotional development just to name a few. Quality music education is a birthright of every child. It is therefore in our hands and on our shoulders to help all children, especially the disadvantaged ones who cannot afford music lessons, reap the benefits of quality music education & exposure.
Pieces of music missing in curricula may well be the missing pieces needed to fix the puzzle of perfect education children truly deserve.
Hence, Project Missing Pieces – Search begins here.