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WHY LEARN MUSIC ?
Here are 7 great reasons


1.  Music is a Science
It is exact, specific; demands exact acoustics.  A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.

2.  Music is Mathematical
It is rhythmically based on the subdivision of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously.

3.  Music is a Foreign Language
Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French, and the notation is a highly developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols  that represent ideas.  Music is the most complete and Universal language that is cross-cultural.

4. Music is Physical
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lips, cheeks and facial muscles and extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back and chest muscles, which respond instantly to what the ears hear and the mind interprets.  The body develops "muscle memory" in learning music.

5.  Music is Medicine
Music is therapeutic, rewires neural circuits in the brain, develops focus and intelligence.  It has both psychological and physical benefits for children and adults of all ages.

6.  Music is Art
Music creates emotion and beauty that  mirrors life and expresses truth.

7.  Music is History & World Cultural Studies
Music is a window to the past  and reflects cultures  of times past through the current day.
 

 

Information #s1-6 adapted from Hungry For Music, a non-profit organization that provides free musical instruments to underprivileged children.
 

The following information was published by Steinway Inc. 

New Research Proves the Value of Childhood Music Education

Piano Training in Childhood has Lasting Rewards
There is an undeniably strong correlation between music education and the development of skills that children need to become successful in life.  Self-discipline, patience, sensitivity, coordination, and the ability to memorize and concentrate are all enhanced in the study of music.  These skills will follow your child on whatever path he or she chooses in life.  You have the chance now to introduce a formative influence that may be second only to the love you give your chil

d.  If you're looking for a way to provide your child with a source of life-long joy, satisfaction, and accomplishment, childhood music education is an excellent first step.

And the piano is an excellent first instrument.  No other single instrument matches the piano for its broad application of musical concepts.  Even if later your child chooses to play another instrument, the melody, rhythm and sense of harmony acquired with piano education will pay off handsomely.

Better Sooner than Later
New evidence exists that there are actual physiological benefits to early childhood music education.  A study released in February 1997 presents findings that music education - specifically, piano instruction in pre-schoolers - produces changes in the brain which enhance children's abstract reasoning skills.  These skills are necessary for learning mathematics and science, to play chess, and to master many concepts of engineering.

Dr. Frances Rauscher of the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Gordon Shaw of the University of California had previously linked piano/keyboard and singing lessons to enhanced spacial-temporal ability in pre-schoolers.  The new study documents that early piano training also has a direct effect on the development of the brain's neural circuitry, actually improving intellectual development.  In other words, this research points out that early piano training helps to create and maintain certain "connections" in children's brains that may not otherwise form.

It has long been know that musically educated children develop skills they carry into adulthood.  Now it appears that piano training can actually make children more intelligent.  Can you think of any more precious gift to give the children in your life?

Here's How the Study was Conducted
Thirty four children received private piano keyboard instruction, 20 children were given private computer lessons, and 24 children provided other controls.  Four standard, age-calibrated spatial reasoning tests were given before and after training.  One tested spatial temporal reasoning; three tested spatial recognition.  Significant improvement on the spatial temporal test was found for the keyboard group only.  None of the groups improved significantly on the spatial recognition tests. This led the researchers to conclude that music training produces long-term modifications in underlying neural circuitry in regions of the brain not primarily concerned with music.  The magnitude of the improvement suggests that learning of standard curricula is also enhanced.

Other Important Developmental Benefits to Childhood Music Education

bullet Research at the University of Konstanz in Germany found that exposure to music rewires neural circuits.  For instance, they used magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brains of nine string players.  They found that the amount of somato-sensory cortex dedicated to the fingering hand was far larger than in non-players.  Additionally, the earlier the player took up the instrument, the more cortex was devoted to playing it.
bullet Most concert-level performers being playing earlier than 10 years of age.
bullet Scientists at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston found that the brains of 30 musicians with perfect pitch - the ability to identify isolated musical notes they hear - had greatly enlarged structures on the left side of their brains.  All the musicians with perfect pitch said they were exposed to music prior to age 7.  The likelihood of developing perfect pitch is extremely low if exposure comes after age ten.
bullet Another German study, at Heinrick Heine University in Dusseldorf, reported that exposure to music activates and enhances cognitive processes involved in language and reasoning.
bullet Other studies show ath all children are born with musical ability.  For example, two month old infants can match the pitch, intensity, and melodies for songs their mothers sing, and at four months infants can match rhythm as well. But the older children get without exercising their musical aptitude, the more will be lost and never regained.  The reason is neurological - by approximately age 11, the neuron circuits that permit all kinds of perceptual and sensory discrimination, such as identifying pitch and rhythm, become closed off.
bullet Finally, students with coursework and experience in musical performance scored 51 points higher on the verbal portion of SAT and 39 points
higher on the SAT math portion than students with no coursework or experience with music - from data compiled by the Music Educators National Conference from The College Board.

Other Benefits of Musical Education

The piano can be a source of stability in turbulent teenage years.  As an adult, the poise and self assurance developed by playing and performing at the piano has very tangible value in social and business worlds.

 

   


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