Music and Wellbeing in Early Childhood

30 July 2019

UQ School of Music researcher  Professor Margaret Barrett led a creative thinktank that examined how music impacts development in the early stages of our life.

Co-created by Professor Barrett, Professor Graham Welch, and Katherine Zeserson, the event brought together researchers, practitioners, advocates, policy-makers and education professionals to consider:

  • What is known, what is contested and what is unknown about the impacts of music on wellbeing in the early years?
  • What are the barriers to effective early years music education in the home, community and pre-school settings
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of current early years music provision?
  • What training and support is needed for practitioners?
  • What research questions are arising for further investigation?

The discussion embraced a wide range of wellbeings, including physical, psychological, emotional, social, educational and musical.

Discussions indicated that:

(1) engaging successfully in music pre-school is likely to bring additional developmental benefits, and;

(2) that this is especially likely to be the case where the adults involved (parents, carers, teachers, assistants) are enabled to develop insightful values and beliefs about such benefits. This creates a virtuous circle to enable and foster both musical and wider development.