Brian Russell, Mel Powick & Ian Hadfield from the Brown & Chase NSW office, recently contributed $1,600 through the Giving 4 A Living Program to The Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF). ACMF is a not-for-profit organisation inspiring creativity and imagination by providing weekly music education classes and instruments to disadvantaged children and youth at risk throughout Australia.
Music is a critical part of every child’s social, emotional, physical and behavioural development. It encourages creativity, imagination and self-expression, develops literacy and numeracy, increases confidence and self-esteem and most importantly, brings joy, happiness and pride. However, for those students deprived of access to a music education, they are never exposed to the crucial benefits of music and the arts for their health and well being. In order to bridge the gap between the disadvantaged and advantaged, students must have an equal chance to experience the magic of music in their education.
Worldwide studies have proven that participation in music programs have significant benefits to child and youth development and learning. These benefits are noticeable across many aspects of education- including literacy and numeracy. In addition to the educational benefits, there are a multitude of other improvements observed, including emotional and psycho-social aspects. Children and youth participating in our programs experience improvements in self-esteem, self-confidence and general mental well being. Research and reports are an invaluable way of demonstrating the benefits of music programs and to help understand the positive impacts of music education.
Professor Margaret S. Barrett, world renowned researcher and music educator from the University of Queensland has conducted research on behalf of the ACMF. Her research has investigated the importance of music education for children in relation to creativity, early musical development and the meaning and value of engagement in the music and arts activity. The ACMF was involved in the inquiry into the extent, benefits and potential of music education in Victorian schools by the Education and Training Committee of Victorian Parliament.