“Recent advances in the study of the brain have enhanced our understanding of the way that active engagement with music may influence other activities. The cerebral cortex self-organises as we engage with different musical activities…” Professor Susan Hallam
Music represents an exceptional choice as a value-added curriculum focus subject in the secondary phase. It offers benefits to students in terms of accelerated cognitive development alongside increased confidence from participation and performance, leading to higher performance across a range of wider subject areas particularly mathematics and including languages where active engagement with music sharpens the brain’s early encoding of linguistic sound – children with just 8 weeks of musical training show improvement in perceptual cognition compared with control groups.
Music education and participation in performance type musical activities are clearly seen to have great potential for improving student self-esteem and self-confidence, boosting achievement across the curriculum and raising achievement for all learners. Involvement in music and other performing arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance, particularly with students who are at risk of disengagement with the education system. Music education at Derby Cathedral School will be rich in choral opportunities, with openings to perform in the Cathedral, and instrumental music making, including music technology.
Mathematics and numeracy skills are essential to everyday life, critical to science and technology, a natural companion to music, and necessary in most forms of employment – yet maths can be a scary subject to some pupils. Derby Cathedral School will overcome any potential barriers to learning by making sure that mathematical experiences are, wherever possible, fun and enjoyable by setting maths in everyday and work-related contexts, and by using stage not age mathematical games and puzzles.
The twin focus within our curriculum offer is designed to raise achievement for all learners via a key skill (maths) and support for cognitive enhancement and self-esteem (music).