How does music improve other academic progress for young people?

A very interesting article appeared in The Guardian newspaper recently on how pupils at a school in Bradford made huge improvements in attendance and in academic subjects, notably by playing music and engaging pupils in musical games, making school life fun and engaging again.

As I discovered during my time as a music undergraduate, and in working in specialist music schools, Kodály's methods for encouraging children to engage in music, and learning many other subjects through music, are very effective.

Zoltan Kodály - educator, philosopher, composer & linguist
The school bases its music programme on the methods of Zoltan Kodály; in which children learn, both subconsciously and through playing musical games: rhythm, sounds, hand signs and movement, in a way that complements and helps their reading, writing and maths. All children at the school get 2 hours a week of music and 30 minute instrumental lessons, so this is a big commitment of teaching time by the school; and by all accounts it's paying off. I hope more schools take note and can apply the same approach.

For full details on the education approach of Hungarian composer/educator Zoltan Kodály see: