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The Benefits of Music on the Minds of Young Learners

Shrewsbury School has a long-standing record of success within musical performance and the performing arts. For generations, its students have been encouraged to perform for peers, parents, and visitors of the highest accord. With the launch of its purpose-built Music School – opened by the Prince of Wales in 1999 – the school ensured the tradition would be carried firmly forward into the 21st century.


The Importance of Musical Minds

Keen to deliver a similarly aspirational programme within its premium primary setting in Hong Kong, it was necessary to evaluate the way music impacts the development of young children and the ways in which it enriches learning broadly.

On its importance, the experts seem to agree. “When you look at children aged between two and nine, one of the significant breakthroughs is the benefits music brings to language development”, explains Mary Luehrisen, Executive Director of the National Association of Music Merchants.

Kyle Pruett, a Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, supports this thinking. “Musical experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent”, he explains. “The development of language over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music, and linguistic competence is at the root of social competence”.


Leading by Example

Recruiting the right leader for this approach was critical in order to ensure the development of a programme that is integral to the experiences of all children. And in Mr Euan Kilpatrick, Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong has found an engaged, dynamic, and knowledgeable practitioner with an aspirational vision. On the value of music education, he remarks, “Music offers a unique opportunity for students to make connections, understand ideas, and practice skills associated with a wide range of other curriculum areas”.

The music programme at Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong has been carefully designed to nurture a life-long love of music. Further supplementing core lessons, students throughout the school can engage in weekly choral sessions to expand their understanding of musicality, rhythm, and performance.

“Within our sessions, students learn to control their breathing and physicality”, explains Mr Kilpatrick. “Constantly engaging the diaphragm helps to increase levels of oxygen in the blood, regulate the heartbeat, and ease levels of stress and anxiety”. He also acknowledges the psychological benefits of singing, and its ability to “increase our sense of community and belonging”. Nowhere is this sense of community more important than in young students, at a time when roots are laid and foundations are built.

Families looking to learn more about Shrewsbury’s British curriculum and wider school core programmes are welcome to visit its purpose-built campus in Tseung Kwan O. Regular tours run on Tuesdays at 10am. A special twilight tour will be held on Thursday, March 27 at 6pm. Places can be booked directly through the Admissions Team at (+852) 2480 7603 or by emailing sarah.b@shrewsbury.hk.

Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong, 10 Shek Kok Road, Tseung Kwan O, New Territories, (+852) 2480 1500


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