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  • Writer's pictureRichard Plumpton | ii |

How Music Can Change a Child's Life.

[Image: Four Winds Youth Festival 2022 | © Four Winds]

I've been privileged to spend a fair chunk of my time this year helping a fledgling London-based organisation that looks to bring the power of learning a stringed instrument to underprivileged communities around the world.

Like many of the projects I work on, I stumbled across this particular one when focused on a completely different topic, but it has led me to explore a fascinating area of education and social change – and how equal access to music education in particular is so critical.

In researching this particular project, I found myself wading through reams of scientific papers on how learning to play music can have a profoundly beneficial impact on a child's development – helping build literacy and numeracy as well as core social skills, whilst opening a child's eyes to their potential and giving them the confidence to embrace the opportunities in front of them.

Too many of the world's children never get the chance to touch, let alone learn to play, a musical instrument, and stringed instruments are particularly polarising when it comes to exposing those who have access to the resources to play them, and those who don't.

The lack of access is obviously most pronounced in the developing world, but even in a country like Australia hundreds of thousands of kids are currently denied access to playing music, and are therefore not able to be exposed to the life-changing power that learning an instrument can bring.

If you then add in the increasing distraction that screens and the virtual world have on Australian kids, then the risk of kids missing out on the opportunities that music can bring increases even further.

I already knew how powerful music could be through my own experience of learning to play a number of instruments in my childhood, with watching my own kids going on their own musical journey reinforcing this knowledge.

What I didn't know was how children's access to learning an instrument was being increasingly restricted – even in a country like Australia – and I, for one, think this is something that urgently needs to change.


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