Opinion: Early musical education important for young children

As the director of Middlebury Community Music Center (MCMC), mom of two young girls, and a piano teacher, I am passionate about the importance of early musical education for young children from birth through elementary school. Early musical learning has the power to propel us into a lifetime of music making and arts appreciation, enriching our lives and making us engaged citizens.
Every child is born with musical aptitude. The common myth that some kids are just born gifted misses the fact that everyone has a chance to become musically literate, and to reap the benefits that musical training has to offer. Many children have minimal exposure to music during the critical early years that are prime for learning.
Singing and moving to music from a very young age awakens two essential pillars of musical learning: pitch and rhythm. These are skills that need practice and reinforcement to become stable “truths” for a young musician. This process of learning shapes our thinking as we grow, and transfers to many other areas of our lives.
A recent report just released from the National Endowment for the Arts shows how critical early arts education is to children’s social-emotional development. For young children, a strong social-emotional foundation leads to greater success in academics, and instills resourceful problem solving, compassionate listening, and stick-to-itiveness, among many other important attributes.
It is our mission at MCMC to provide enriching programming in music for all the ages in a supportive, community environment. We are grateful to collaborate with the Lets Grow Kids organization to promote the importance of these early childhood experiences, and to help us reach as many people in our community as we can.
Sadie Brightman

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