On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

“Music education is a tool for national development”- Margaret Fyle

The Consultant Principal of the Ballanta Academy of Music (BAM) Mrs. Margaret Fyle said in an interview with Awoko this week ,that Music, a fruit of life, is a very important tool for national development in a post-war country like Sierra Leone.
She said ‘considering the effect, especially psycho-social and political changes, music has enhanced the life of Sierra Leoneans since the end of the war; used as a panacea for healing trauma, improving intellectual capacity of the young, and as an edutainment platform for the public,” Margaret Fyle, the head of Sierra Leone’s only music school is quoted to have said:
“Every school-going child in the nation should have an education in music.
This statement is unlikely to be challenged by anyone involved in education. If education is to help all our children in this country to reach their individual potential and serve the collective good of our nation, then we must treat the study of music seriously and it must be a part of the education of every child”, she said.
She further maintained that music education brings countless benefits to each individual throughout life. The benefits may be psychological or physical, and they may be spiritual as well. She said through music, one can be introduced to the richness and diversity of the human family and to the myriad rhythms of life.
Mrs. Fyle, speaking in a relaxed mood in her office room at Ballanta Academy at Liverpool Street, explained that music education is more than just introducing students to beats, notes and songs. Instead, it completely transforms a child`s mind and opens up endless possibilities to their learning potential. However, she questioned, why is it that the importance of music education is often underrated, especially when it comes to the educational benefits?
She observed that early, musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning, adding that it is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth.
She quoted that recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways.
While there are several different subjects offered in school, she viewed, few can compete with the creative element offered by music education. They can relate to the words, notes or instruments they are experiencing.
In music, she pointed out “a mistake is a mistake”, the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. She said it is only by hard work that a successful performance is possible.
Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work, Mrs. Fyle maintained, and went further saying that “those who play instruments typically dedicate time to practice and developing their creativity and this helps increase organizational skills and perseverance.
Technically, she said “playing can be a solitary pursuit, but can also be a group activity which encourages a level of social interaction and team-building.” She said it can teach people the importance of working as an individual or as part of a team, which is an important life skill and one which translates well to the workplace.
Therefore, she noted, several studies and surveys have shown that students with music education tend to completely change their outlook on education, learning and their own performance. They see the experience as more beneficial and even see themselves as more successful because of their newfound skills.
Mrs. Fyle again questioned “with all the evidence pointing to the benefits of music education, it is difficult to see why this area continues to be downplayed, and in some cases completely removed from education today. Music education in Sierra Leone is critical to the development of this nation’s most important resource our children.”
Ballanta Academy of Music situated at Liverpool Street is the first and only accredited Music institution in this country offering first class music instructions. The core business at the Academy is teaching. The school gives students the opportunity to attain a thorough education that will prepare them for the future. Students enter for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in London (ABRSM) examinations both in theory of music and practical. The Academy has been producing and continues to produce great musicians and performers.
At this point Mrs. Fyle made a clarion call saying that “it is about time Sierra Leoneans understand and appreciate the benefit of music education and join the Ballanta Family and support the work we do”.
By Poindexter Sama

Comments are closed.