We were excited to learn about newly published research into the effects of music learning on children’s cognitive skills.
The research, published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, is summarised in a Science Daily article, “Music lessons improve children’s cognitive skills and academic performance.”
Why YMTS co-founder Claire is so excited:
One of my favourite TED Talks is Anita Collins’ How playing an instrument benefits your brain. This new research backs up Collins’ excellent work.
In this first large, long-term study, the children who took part in music lessons developed more in various cognitive areas.
Their language-based reasoning, planning, and organising skills improved. So did their ability to complete tasks. And their academic performance increased.
How amazing for your students to know that their brain skills are developing as they learn music. Helping them to be even more effective in different subjects and situations.
How satisfying for your students’ parents to know that by providing music lessons they are helping their children’s brain enhancement. Not only musically but in skills that will benefit their schoolwork and life generally.
How important for headteachers and class teachers to know that music students’ brain skills are being boosted and this will feed directly into their performance in class.
So TELL EVERYONE! They won’t necessarily know. Encourage people to spread the word. The more people know this information the more it raises the importance and profile of music teaching.
- It’s great for your students and benefits you too.
- It’s a super motivator for students to know their brains are being enhanced.
- Parents have an extra reason to arrange music lessons for their children.
- It provides another incentive for parents to encourage kids to focus on their music and practice.
- Music becomes an even more important activity.
- From the point of view of head and class teachers, music is not just a fun extra-curricular learning experience but a developer of useful cognitive skills and abilities that improve academic achievement.
And how brilliant for you to know that as well as all the other amazing benefits of learning a musical instrument, how much further the impact of your lessons are having on your students’ abilities.
You are directly helping to develop your students’ cognitive brain skills. Truly inspiring!
How this amazing research could support your PR or marketing:
Studies like this (writes YMTS co-founder Jamie) can also become great hooks to secure local media coverage about your teaching business.
In our 29 tips for a thriving music teaching business we cover the potential benefits to you from public relations (PR).
In tip number #25 we cover why you might like to feature in your local newspaper, or do an interview on the radio. And we go into detail about how to secure media coverage, giving you ideas we have used (Jamie’s secured editorial coverage in an extensive range of media).
Whenever new and relevant research is published, or there’s an announcement about (say) education policy changes, you can get in touch with an editor or radio producer. Send a short, personal note. Include a comment about your opinion of whatever the new research is. And add the profile of yourself which we covered in tip #25.
Show the editorial contact you can express an interesting perspective about something topical. They’ll often offer you a platform to express your views, and you’ll be heard (or seen, or read) by the audience – building your reputation as an expert in the minds of the audience. Anyone thinking about music lessons who hears you on the radio or sees you in the paper will think of you.
This research was published a couple of weeks ago. But that doesn’t mean you’ve missed the boat. Think ahead. In summer your local media will cover GCSE and A-Level results.
They’re always looking for interesting angles. Perhaps you could go on air (or in print) then to talk about how learning an instrument benefits academic performance.
Or think about other slants. Many business programmes on radio, and business media in print and online, have been covering the issue of productivity and how to improve the UK’s standing in this area. This isn’t about turning employees into drone slaves (I hope) but about working smarter.
A music teacher who can describe how learning an instrument has a positive impact on skills transferable to the workplace would be interesting. Again, you’re then seen as a go-to expert. And being covered in the business press could be great visibility in front of people considering music lessons – as adults or for their offspring.
Plenty of other angles for PR. Beyond this, research like this is great for your marketing:
Your marketing messages and materials can mention “research shows learning an instrument leads to improved academic performance and increased cognitive abilities.”
Put that in your own words (but be accurate) and on an appropriate place on your website, on flyers, on your LinkedIn profile. You can link to the summary of the research in Science Daily.
If you do a printed newsletter for students and parents, write a paragraph or two about the findings of the study. Parents will enjoy reading about it. They can bask in the warm glow from doing something amazing for their children. They know this already of course, but it is setting out new evidence of the wider benefits of learning an instrument. You can encourage them to mention it to others.
Incidentally, a termly printed newsletter, with interesting facts and figures, your comments about the overall progress of your entire student cohort, forthcoming concerts, reviews, exam dates and so on is easy to do.
Yet it is often seen as hugely valuable by parents, setting you apart from other teachers. It is also an incredibly powerful way to encourage student referrals. If you include some key achievements from students, and photos (ensure you have appropriate permissions) then your newsletter can become something families prize and show to others.
Boost your marketing and communications by using evidence like this research to enhance your appeal as a music teacher.
- Get proven, tried and tested advice about effective marketing for music teachers in our free 29 tips for a thriving music teaching business. With the marketing and business development strategies we describe Claire developed her music teaching business to her full capacity – and built a waiting list for private lessons in a city saturated with excellent music teachers. Request our series of tips for music teachers today.