This specialised in their instruments. Previously it has been

This intervention
would be for pupils age 7 years and above (years 2-6), as evidence suggests
this is the prime age to start learning an instrument (Pickering &
Repacholi, 2001). The reason for this is that the child is old enough to be
able to play the instrument independently (Ruthsatz et al., 2014), but is young
enough that it has a highly positive effect on their developing brains (Schlaug
et al., 2005).

The instrument
the child learns will be chosen by the child, as evidence suggests that letting
the child chose the instrument for themselves increases the likelihood that
they will enjoy playing it (Byo, 1991; Delzell & Leppla, 1992). It also
gives them the opportunity to make an important decision and express their
individual personalities, as they get to choose an instrument which they think
will most suit them.

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This intervention
will be delivered by a set of music teachers, that are specialised in their
instruments. Previously it has been attempted that one teacher tries to teach
all pupils, but using specialised teachers has been proven more effective, as
when pupils get to a certain standard, they will not outgrow their teacher. This
means they are less likely to need to change teachers, which would damage the
strong teacher-pupil relationship which is found in instrument tuition (Mills,

This leads
to the resource implications for this implication, as the council would need to
fund the teachers. Most councils employ a set of specialised music teachers which
visit schools (National Careers Service, 2017). I predict that in order to give
the children the best choice of instruments, there will need to be six
teachers: a guitar, strings, woodwind, brass, piano and percussion teacher. This
would cover all types of instrument and allow the pupils to reach a
professional standard if they wish, as the teachers will be experts in their instrument

resource implication is that the pupils will need access to the instruments,
and this can be funded through either the school’s budget or the council. The council
have a selection of instruments that the school can hire, for £33.00 per term
per instrument, or £8.00 per term for pupils who are eligible for free school
meals (Durham County Council, 2017). Alternatively, the school may wish to buy
instruments, in which a standard beginner’s instrument costs around £100.00,
but if purchased through a government scheme (HMRC, 2007), the school can save
20% per instrument. Also, it the students perform in the community, the school
may seek local sponsorship to fund instruments. This would also benefit the
school as the pupils would be engaging more in the local community and showing
the talent which the school’s scheme has inspired.

There is a
strong body of evidence to suggest that this intervention can improve pupils’
academic results. This intervention is not subject specific, as it can help
with multiple subjects. The intervention will be hugely beneficial for the
music aspect of the national curriculum, and can also help with improving the
children’s memory skills, maths skills, reading, and comprehension (Münte et
al., 2002).

There are many
research papers that support this, finding that learning an instrument is
beneficial for pupils. Schellenberg (2011) found that music induces brain
reactions that stimulate the development of cognitive skills. Musically trained
and untrained 9-12-year-olds were compared on measures of IQ and executive
functions. The results found that children who were musically trained were more
likely to have a higher IQ and perform well on tests of cognitive ability. This
demonstrates that learning an instrument could benefit pupils’ IQ scores, which
could be reflected in their overall KS2 results.

Schlaug et al. (2005) found that both cognitive skills and school grades may be
improved through the influence of music education. After 14 months of
observation, they found cognitive effects from music training in 5-7-year-olds.
This is supported by evidence of structural differences in the brain regions that
are closely linked to skills learned during instrumental music training, such
as independent fine motor movements and auditory discrimination (Hutchinson et
al., 2003). These changes in neuroplasticity are an advantage to cognitive function,
allowing skills to be developed which can help academically (Münte et al., 2002).

Lareau (2011) found that music practise enhances educational success by sending
positive indicators to teachers, and by nurturing children’s acquisition of
culture. Also, Lareau found that when carried out in a group, music tuition can
promote social skill development. This could benefit pupils as if they have the
chance to put their tuition into practise and perform together, this can
benefit their interpersonal relationships, acquisition of social skills, and improve
other skills such as planning and problem solving. Barron et al. (2000), Felfe
et al. (2011), Pfeifer and Cornelissen (2010) and Stevenson (2010) found that
the effect of music on cognitive abilities is more than twice as large as the
influence of sports, an activity which has proven to be a significant input for
skill development. This evidence points towards a reflection not only in
children’s academic grades but also development in social relationships.

There is
also strong evidence that learning an instrument can relieve stress and
anxiety, one of the issues pupils have been facing in the build-up to the
year-6 SATs. The main source of this evidence is the application of active
music therapy, a relatively new and hugely growing field, in which a therapist
and patient participate in creating music to improve the patient’s physical and
mental health (Solli et al., 2013). Wong et al. (2001) found that music therapy
relieved anxiety in ventilator-dependent patients, and Horne-Thompton and
Grocke (2008) found that it relieved anxiety in the terminally-ill. This application
to patients shows that creating music is an effective tool in aiding people’s
wellbeing, and this is supported by research in schools, where Soh (2014).
Center et al. (2005) and Cheek et al. (2003) found that music therapy was a
useful and growing intervention in helping pupils.