Preucil Preschool is many things—a school buzzing with creativity in the art studio, play and inquiry-based learning in the classrooms, nature exploration on our playground, and social relationship building in all of our daily interactions. But from its beginning in 1976, having sprouted from the Preucil School of Music, Preucil Preschool has been a place for children to experience the joy of music. Doris Preucil started the Preucil School of Music in 1963--at the time it was one of the first Suzuki music schools in the United States and has since achieved international renown. Doris’ love of music and respect for children led to the development of a preschool, where all children were (and still are) welcomed and viewed as having musical potential. Today, Preucil Preschool is one of the richest music-based preschools that I have found, providing daily music experiences with highly trained music teachers.
At Preucil Preschool, we appreciate music for the beauty it adds to our lives and the lives of others. Music has been around for thousands upon thousands of years. It is a means of bonding, communicating, and self-expressing. We know that music has other benefits as well, especially for developing minds and hearts. The many benefits of music education for young children include speech, language, literacy, and mathematical development; overall cognitive and intellectual gains; and emotional well-being. A full review of research is beyond the scope of this post, but here are some highlights of Susan Hallam’s review of research, The Power of Music: It’s Impact on the Intellectual, Social, and Personal Development of Children and Young People:
While these benefits are amazing and very beneficial to children’s development, what we see on a daily basis at Preucil Preschool is a sense of accomplishment by mastering a complicated song, excitement of sharing our own musical creations, bonding and connections that happen while sharing our voices and music, pride in standing up and singing for others, energy that comes while bodies move in and through rhythms and beats, and most importantly, the pure joy in actively engaging in daily musical experiences within the context of our day. Music at Preucil becomes as natural and spontaneous as laughter, dance, and play.
“The benefit of music education for me is about being musical. It gives you a better understanding of yourself. The horizons are higher when you are involved in music. Your understanding of art and the world, and how you can think and express yourself, are enhanced.” --Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to active engagement and participation with music, Preucil preschoolers have many opportunities to enjoy live musical performances by the Preucil School of Music faculty and students. Anne Quito argues that listening AND watching live classical musical performances exercises our brains and attention spans. Again, research illustrates many benefits of listening to classical music including improved memory and concentration, stress reduction, increased test scores. Hearing and watching music being produced and given to us is a magical moment of sharing. As Dr. Suzuki told us, "Music is the language of the heart without words."
Hallam, S. (2010). The Power of Music: Its Impact on the Intellectual, Social, and Personal Development of Children and Young People. International Journal of Music Education, 28(3), 269-289