In the small city of Newburyport, Massachusetts exists an elementary school that uses music to motivate their children. Every morning, Gardner Rulon-Miller of the Bresnahan School welcomes the school bus with a musical greeting. “I just want them to have music be part of their lives and part of their school day,” explains the music teacher. In the CBS local video below, he plays “This Little Light Of Mine” on the acoustic guitar and sings to the children as they exit the bus and enter the school. At the :29 second mark, he goes into “Contact” by Phish.
“It fills me up with happiness before I start the day,” one child explained of the morning ritual. Of course, this is something we can all relate to because we know the benefits of listening to music often determines the outcome of our moods. But the effect that this exposure to music has on a developing mind is incomparable.
“You go to the grocery store, you hear music. You go to the bank, there’s music on. Why not when you get off the bus have some music?” Gardner says. “Hopefully it makes them realize that music is just a lot of fun. Everyone has good mornings and bad mornings. I know I do. And sometimes it’s those little things that end up turning your day in ways you might not have expected.”
The brain is a highly organized and complex organ that functions as the coordinating center of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity. Each area of the brain directly corresponds to a very specific function (emotions, movement, visual processing, memory, etc.), so to associate school with music at this age will predictably have long term effects. More teachers should be like Gardner Rulon-Miller.
Watch the adorable video below: