Enhancing Children's Learning Ability Through Music
Steve Adubato sits down with Amy Burns, Music Teacher, Far Hills Country Day School and Chair, Early Childhood Music Education, NJ Music Education Association, to discuss the benefits of exposing children to music even before birth to enhance their learning ability.
"We’re pleased to welcome Amy Burns. Music teacher at Far Hills Country Day School, and chair of the NJ MEA, which stands for? New Jersey Music Educators Association. Yes, the early childhood music education. Listen we were just talking before we got on the air. You've been teaching music for 23 years. Yes. When did you know you wanted to do this? Way back when I was about 14-15 years old. I loved my high school, and I went to West Morris Mendham High School. So I loved the music program there, and they just sparked an interest in me. So I really started to study the clarinet specifically. I already studied piano, thanks to my mother, and I knew I wanted to play music. And then my church had me also teaching early childhood Sunday school. So I knew right then and there I was going to be a music educator. Now you're teaching children in pre-k, excuse me, pre-k up to 4th grade? I teach personally pre-k to 4th grade at my school. It goes pre-k to 8th grade at Far Hills, and I also do a waddler in a toddler program once a month. [laughter] Yes, it's a music... What is that? Mommy and music, mommy and me... Is that right? Yeah, caregiver in me, I want to give back to the community that I grew up in. So once a month, I do a free class. A music class for wobblers, 6 to 18 months, and then toddlers 18 to 3. By the way, how, you were just talking before we got on the air about our initiative, "Right From the Start NJ" which the website will go up as we speak right now. Yes. Again. And we just had this conversation previously with one of your colleagues. Why is what you're talking about right now connected to "Right From the Start NJ"? Well, as you know, from the panel you did a great three-part panel with the experts and they drove home the fact... Dealing with birth to 3? Yes. Zero to three. And one of the facts on there was that by 3 years old, 80% of the brain is developed. And as they were pointing out, first comes the sound, then the language, and the vocabulary. So when your children are born, they're constantly listening to everything, and there are studies. Like the Brain and Creativity Institute in Southern California, did a study where they... where children were exposed to music and it accelerated their brain development in speech, and sound, and language, and reading skills. And this is because of the auditory sensory, that's where those are coming from. So it's really important, and I feel..."