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The relevance of the use of music in teaching children to read, write and math

From ancient times to the present day, musical art has undoubtedly been recognized by philosophers, musicians, educators as an indispensable means of developing the spiritual world of man. No art can be compared with music by the power of emotional impact.

In ancient Greece, music was given a predominant role in education.The great Aristotle emphasized not only the pedagogical, but also the therapeutic value of music, considering that music removes difficult mental experiences through catharsis.

Pythagoras believed that music, as a manifestation of cosmic harmony, can create in humans the same internal order and harmony as in space. It is known that music has a therapeutic effect on the human body. Even Hippocrates used in his medical practice the effects of music on patients.

In the XVI century, music began to be used during surgical operations.

The outstanding Czech teacher Jan Amos Komensky, the creator of the progressive and relevant pedagogical system to this day, introduced musical art to the number of compulsory school subjects.

In the 20th century, interest in the influence of music on the formation of the spiritual world and on the human psyche increased sharply throughout the world. More and more physicians, psychologists and teachers tried to convey to people the importance of music education for cultural life in general. The well-known German composer, teacher, creator of children’s musical instruments, Karl Orff, in 1924 founded a school in Munich in which children were taught and raised according to a system of rhythmic movements (gymnastics, dance, pantomime), in conjunction with collective playing.

The author of the book “Formation of Man through Music” V.Wünsch views music as the central subject of teaching, which forms a person and allows him to gain spiritual experience.

Many teachers, creators of progressive musical techniques (B. Bartok, Sh. Suzuki, D. Kabalevsky and many others) speak of the need to teach all children music, regardless of their natural abilities. Currently, in a number of countries (England, Canada, Japan, etc.), musical art is a compulsory subject not only in secondary schools, but also in higher educational institutions.

The results of modern research in the field of the influence of music on a child give rise to reflections on the need for a deeper introduction of musical art into the educational process of the school, especially the elementary one. In younger schoolchildren, in contrast to other age periods, visual-figurative thinking and emotional-sensory perception of reality prevail, playing activities remain relevant for them. The specifics of musical art, its artistic and imaginative nature can best meet the personal needs of a child of primary school age.

Currently, music is actively used in psychotherapeutic practice. V.M.Bekhterev spoke about the great importance of music in the aesthetic education of a child from the first days of his life, emphasizing also its therapeutic and hygienic significance. In his work “Objective Psychology”, he spoke about the effect of music on the activity of the heart, blood pressure, metabolism, performance and other functions, and shared this influence on sthenic and asthenic.

Stenicus – a positive effect of tone stimuli, harmony, melody and rhythm on the function of organs, asthenic – respiratory depression, metabolism, vasospasm. Music that has a sthenic effect has certain characteristics – the pace at the level of the heart rate, the regular rhythm, the absence of too loud sounds, the dynamics at the level of the average loudness of the sound, mainly harmonic cadences, etc.

Many works (V.Stilman 1990, J.White 1992, etc.) demonstrated a positive effect on music perception on physiological and behavioral reactions, as well as on the emotional state of a person in situations that cause anxiety.

Music is not only perceived through emotions, but also able to correct them. T.Yu. Alekseeva musical art is presented as a means of correcting emotional maladjustment among younger schoolchildren (1998). All this suggests that the children’s perception of specially selected music has a psychotherapeutic and general health effect, the need for which is also relevant in our time.
Music also has a positive effect on the child’s intelligence.

Hungarian teacher Zoltan Kodai believed that “without music, a person cannot be complete, he is just a fragment.” Back in 1951, he created the first school with advanced music teaching. His schools have dramatically increased academic performance compared to other schools, and this, despite the fact that the volume of teaching other subjects had to be reduced in favor of music lessons. This experiment was repeated in Switzerland (1988-1991) and also revealed positive results. The results of this experiment are recorded in the work of E.W. Weber “Music makes the school”.

Since the perception of music is provided by both hemispheres, each of which regulates various functions (V.F. Konovalov, N.A. Otmakhov, 1983), the whole impression of music is provided by the integration of specialized cognitive and emotional processes in both hemispheres. Consequently, the perception of music causes an increase in intercentral and inter-hemispheric interaction, i.e. brain integration. Moreover, the perception of music can occur both at a conscious and at a subconscious level, since the analysis of the frequency-time ratios of acoustic signals is carried out with both forms of perception (A.V. Toropova 1995).

In the works of G.Yu.Malyarenko, MVHvatovoy (1993-1996) it was shown that the regular perception by children of specially selected music improves short-term memory, and also increases the indicators of verbal and non-verbal intelligence. As a result of musical influence, sensitivity increases not only of the auditory, but also of the visual analyzers, brain functions are generally optimized, the regulation of voluntary movements is improved, information processing is accelerated, and mental performance increases (G.Yu. Malyarenko, MVHvatova 1998).

Consequently, under the influence of a prolonged sensory flow in the form of fragments of specially selected music, the psycho-physiological characteristics of the brain are improved, which means that the brain’s ability to learn is increased.

The use of music in the teaching of other school subjects contributes to the solution of another important task. The close interaction of science and art allows children to develop the ability of a holistic vision of the surrounding world. The combination of musical art with the fundamentals of science in elementary school harmonizes abstract-logical thinking with the figurative. This is especially important at the initial stage of education, when the child is just entering the educational activity.

There is no doubt that music heals the body and soul. The fact that music can be taught has yet to be proved. But let’s not forget that music just gives us an inexplicable joy. Maybe because in contact with it, we are more or less consciously experiencing something from our spiritual existence …

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