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
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
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
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
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
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.
concert-level performers being playing earlier than 10 years of age.
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.
study, at Heinrick Heine University in Dusseldorf, reported that
exposure to music activates and enhances cognitive processes involved in
language and reasoning.
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.
students with coursework and experience in musical performance scored 51
points higher on the verbal portion of SAT and 39 points
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