Music Lessons were the Best Thing
Your Parents Ever Did for You

If your parents ever submitted you to regular music lessons as a kid, you probably got in a fight with them once or twice about it. Maybe you didn't want to go; maybe you didn't like practicing. But we have some bad news: They were right. It turns out that all those endless major scale exercises and repetitions of "
Chopsticks" had some incredible effects on our minds.

Psychological studies continue to uncover more and more benefits that music lessons provide to developing minds. One incredibly comprehensive longitudinal study, produced by the German Socio-Economic Panel in 2013, stated the power of music lessons as plain as could be: "Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance." The study found that kids who take music lessons "have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious." And that's just the beginning.

The following list is a sampling of the vast amount of neurological benefits that music lessons can provide. Considering this vast diversity, it's baffling that there are still kids in this country who are not receiving high-quality music education in their schools. Every kid should have this same shot at success.

For the list, click HERE.

How Playing Music Affects the
Developing Brain

Remember “Mozart Makes You Smarter”?
A 1993 study of college students showed them performing better on spatial reasoning tests after listening to a Mozart sonata. That led to claims that listening to Mozart temporarily increases IQs — and to a raft of products purporting to provide all sorts of benefits to the brain.

In 1998, Zell Miller, then the governor of Georgia, even proposed providing every newborn in his state with a CD of classical music.

But subsequent research has cast doubt on the claims.

Ani Patel, an associate professor of psychology at Tufts University and the author of “
Music, Language, and the Brain,” says that while listening to music can be relaxing and contemplative, the idea that simply plugging in your iPod is going to make you more intelligent doesn’t quite hold up to scientific scrutiny.

“On the other hand,” Patel says, “there’s now a growing body of work that suggests that actually learning to play a musical instrument does have impacts on other abilities.” These include speech perception, the ability to understand emotions in the voice and the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Patel says this is a relatively new field of scientific study.

Link to the full article: HERE.

How to Motivate a Young Musician
BY TOM JACOBS • January 16, 2014 • 4:00 AM
(Photo: Alenavlad/Shutterstock)
Given all the recent research into the benefits of learning a musical instrument, it makes sense that parents encourage their youngsters to give it a try. But what is it that motivates kids to take it seriously, and commit to the sort of practice that can turn them into skilled musicians?
According to
newly published research that checked in with budding virtuosos as they started their studies, and again 10 years later, successful students tend to be those who have “a sense of where their future learning may take them, and whose personal identity includes a long-term perspective of themselves as musicians.”
While some of that long-range thinking no doubt emerges from an inner drive, the study finds it is strongly influenced by the role music plays in both their home and school environments.
Parents who either played music and/or listened to it at home created “images and experiences” for the children that gave them a “sense of what music entailed, and how useful or important it might be.”
In the journal Psychology of Music, Australian researchers Paul Evans of the University of New South Wales and Gary McPherson of the University of Melbourne describe a study featuring 157 young instrumentalists. The kids, ages seven to nine, were first approached in 1997, as they were “about to commence learning music in a primary school band program.”
The kids were interviewed as part of a broader study designed to measure what factors influenced their later learning. Among the questions they were asked was: “How long do you think you will continue playing an instrument?”
Their school music programs were rated as either “basic” or “enriched.” The latter ranking, which was earned by five of the eight schools the children attended, was reserved for schools “where the band was a prominent activity that was visible and well-integrated over a number of years into the culture of the school.”
The researchers checked in with the kids and their mothers periodically over the following three years, to determine how much they were practicing. They then re-established contact 10 years after those initial interviews, noting how long the children continued playing their instrument, what musical activities (if any) they were involved with in high school, and the highest they had scored on a standard test of musical ability.
“Striking differences were found between students who expressed a short-term view of themselves playing an instrument and those who expressed a long-term view,” they report. Those who envisioned themselves as adult musicians from a young age played better, and kept studying longer, than those who did not.
Link to the full article...


Is Music the Key to Success?
Published: October 12, 2013

CONDOLEEZZA RICE trained to be a concert pianist. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was a professional clarinet and saxophone player. The hedge fund billionaire Bruce Kovner is a pianist who took classes at Juilliard.

pastedGraphicMultiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?

The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements.
The phenomenon extends beyond the math-music association. Strikingly, many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their (link to the full article)…..


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