In 2018, ABC-TV screened a powerful three-part documentary called Don’t Stop the Music. Set in Perth’s Challis Community primary school, which is located in an area of high unemployment and low income, the documentary showed how playing music can change children’s lives. Dr Anita Collins, an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning, was involved in the documentary as the on-screen expert.

The day after it premiered, she was interviewed on ABC Classic by Russell Torrance. “The Editor at Allen & Unwin heard it on her drive in [to work] and she wrote me an email and said, ‘do you think you’ve got a book in you?’ and I said, ‘oh yes I do!’ It was great!” Collins tells Limelightwith a big laugh.

Dr Anita Collins. Photograph supplied

The book, which was published by Allen & Unwin last month, is called The Music Advantage. In it, Collins draws on the latest international neurological research to reveal the many, surprising benefits to children learning music.

Collins wrote it for the layman rather than the neuroscientist or musical...