The benefits provided by music and musical experiences to early childhood development have been explored through a recent collaboration between Benalla P-12 College and Tomorrow Today’s Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) program.
Benalla P-12 music teachers Natalie and Barry Roberts attended eight PEEP multi-age sessions between them, accompanied each time by student musicians.
Secondary school students of various ages came ready to play some of the nursery rhyme favourites from the PEEP room, which they performed on instruments including bass guitar, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, glockenspiel and flute.
There were many positive outcomes from the project according to Tomorrow Today early years coordinator Cath Warnock.
‘‘Our PEEP kids were treated to an engaging musical experience where they could see older children performing and play along with them and the students had the experience of playing to an audience,’’ Ms Warnock said.
‘‘In addition, parents had an interesting discussion about the positive impact of music on brain development, organisational skills, cognitive processing, social interactions, sense of belonging, cooperation and language development.’’
The overwhelming success of the program has meant planning is already under way for future collaboration between the organisations, to continue fostering musical development for young children in the Benalla community.
— Pat Claridge, Tomorrow Today