Early Music Training and Developing Perfect Pitch in Your Young Child

children singingI would like to share an interesting story about developing perfect pitch in a small child, which was accomplished with early music training. My 10 year-old daughter, Sophia, began watching the music-teaching DVD, “Introducing Trebellina,” when she was two-and-a-half years old. She watched it regularly because she loved it beyond words. After only two viewings, she started to pick out individual instruments in songs on the radio. Trebellina showed her how to associate the colored notes with the sounds from an instrument.

 Eventually, when she was four, we gave her piano lessons. Her teacher pointed out that she could identify the sound of a note without seeing which key had been pressed. As we investigated, we learned that she could only do that for the notes taught on the DVD. When we introduced her to all the keys, she quickly learned to extrapolate from the entire set of keys. When my four year-old son, Matthew, was two-and-a-half, we discovered he could do the same thing! It was due to early exposure to music.

 Although my family loves music, this was a first, as prior to Sophia, there was no other family member with the gift of perfect pitch. It has helped with Sophia’s singing, as she has a beautiful voice and an excellent ear. Her voice has earned her performances in venues in the metropolitan NY area.

 Here are some remarkable facts about young children and perfect pitch:

Mozart must have known how it felt to have perfect pitch, as he could name a single note from a tolling bell or the chiming of a pocket watch.  Yet only one in 10,000 Americans has perfect pitch, and many professional musicians will rely on relative pitch. To approximate perfect pitch, also called “absolute pitch,” some musicians memorize just one note, usually middle C, and then use relative pitch to steer their minds to the others. others. By estimating pitch, their thought doesn’t come automatically. It can take a few seconds to think about the note they want to name—and even then, they can be slightly off. People with perfect pitch name notes instantly and they’re accurate consistently.

In a recent study published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Vol. 116, No. 4), it was discovered that children who speak Chinese and other languages that use “pitches” to express words’ meanings and associate words with pitches, are nine times more likely to develop the uncommon musical ability known as “absolute pitch.” More popularly known as “perfect pitch,” it is a rare ability to recognize the letter of a musical note when heard. This study, which was conducted simultaneously with research on infant pitch perception, suggests that absolute pitch may be linked to early language development.

“We’re finding evidence of an absolute pitch module in everyone’s brain, and I suspect it developed for speech,” says Diana Deutsch, PhD, study author and psychology professor at the University of California, San Diego. “That we recognize pitch in music is a side effect.”

Deutsch adds that those individuals with perfect pitch may hold advantages in musical tasks, such as singing in tune or composing music. Other studies, including those by Deutsch, have shown that perfect pitch is a form of speech rather than a characteristic of music, and like speech, it can be learned.

“Everyone has an implicit form of perfect pitch, even though we aren’t all able to put a label to notes. What’s learned as a child is the ability to label,” explains Deutsch. “I often wonder if I acquired my perfect pitch because I had a color-coded xylophone as a kid,” she says, noting that people with perfect pitch have a higher frequency of synesthesia, which means that when they hear a sound, they see a color.

Genes may play a role in helping some people acquire perfect pitch more easily than others, but Deutsch’s findings suggest that almost anyone can learn to label notes, provided they start young, when they are beginning to learn language. Deutsch is a proponent of parents giving young children musical instruments, preferably with labeled notes, to help the process along.

Music and Creativity Go Hand-in-Hand

music and creativity We all have creativity within us, however, what is not always predictable is how  we can unlock our creativity. And while scientists have already proven through  numerous studies that music increases brainpower in very young children, we  are now learning that musical experiences that feed the mind may also spark  creativity, and produce greater proficiency in areas such as math, science, and  technology.

 Certain types of music can help create a balance between the logical  left brain and the more intuitive right brain. This dynamic interaction is  thought to be the basis of creativity. Music is so powerful that it can change  your mood, channel inspiration, create physical changes in the body, and tap  into creativity.

In regard to children, each child is born with creative potential. The ages between three and five are thought to be the critical years for the development of creativity. Parents, guardians, and early childhood professionals have a tremendous opportunity to encourage creativity by simply allowing children to imagine, express themselves and solve problems in all content areas, but most especially in movement and music.

The Inspiration Behind the Creative Thinker

Certain types of music are known to produce theta waves in the brain. During the times when we experience theta wave activity, peaks of creativity can occur. So besides listening to music to bring out specific emotions and those nostalgic memories, you can actually use music to create physical and mental changes within the body.

In his book, The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit, celebrated teacher and music visionary, Don Campbell discusses how theta waves are produced in the brain, and the effect theta waves have on creativity when listening to different types of music.  His message is simple and clearly stated:  “Music is medicine for the body, the mind, and the soul.” His book delves into how modern science has begun to confirm this ancient wisdom, finding evidence that listening to certain types of music can improve the quality of life, as well as help to deal with all sorts of diseases, anxiety, chronic pain, and even mental illness.

Beta waves occur in the brain during ordinary consciousness, such as when we are focusing on daily activities, and when experiencing powerful negative emotions. Heightened awareness and calm are characterized by alpha waves. Music with a pulse beat of 60 beats per minute can transform consciousness from the beta to the alpha range. Theta waves occur during periods of peak creativity, meditation, and sleep–when you are in a more peaceful state of mind. It is said that a sense of deep spiritual connection and unity with the universe can be experienced at Theta. When your mind is in Theta mode, you will experience vivid visualizations, great inspiration, profound creativity and exceptional insight.

Connecting the Dots: Expanding the Minds of Children

children and math2Most people do not realize the profound relationship between math and music. In recent years, an interesting correlation has been linked to music and a strong aptitude in math for children who are involved in music-related programs.

Lessons in music strongly support the development of a deep understanding of fractions on the part of students. Learning notation in music reading is understanding fractions. The whole note is the whole, half is the half, a quarter is a quarter and so on. So it’s suffice to say that music lessons promote understanding of proportions, percentages, patterns, and sequences through the analysis of rhythm, melodic contour, and musical form.

But How Does Music Enter Into the Equation?

Music is analytical and it enhances critical thinking. To perform, you have to do more than two things at once. Many times, one has to read notes, sing words, follow a rhythmic pattern and watch a conductor – and all with the utmost artistic expression.

Exposing a child to great music, as a listener and a player, is good for brain development. “Nothing activates as many areas of the brain as music,” points out researcher, Donald A. Hodges, Covington Distinguished Professor of Music Education and director of the Music Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Many neuroscientists with brain scanning technologies have tested ideas about the link between music and intelligence. The results are clear: musicians have distinctively different brains.

There is a great deal of evidence that supports the positive effects on music and one’s ability with mathematics. Most research has shown that children trained in music at a young age have increased math skills. In addition, researchers have found that their entire academic performance improves after a certain period of music training.

Music is the universal language of mankind. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Music Keeps Senior Citizens’ Minds Sharp

Do you remember those music lessons you took when you were a youngster? Well, according to  recent studies, continued music lessons keeps the elderly mind sharp, and has many other benefits.

An article in the Harvard Health Publications at Harvard Medical School reported that one third of people age 70 and over experience memory loss. Minor memory lapses that occur with age are not usually signs of a serious neurological disorder, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but instead are the result of normal changes in the structure and function of the brain. Studies have additionally shown that nearly 5 million Americans have age-related dementias, and over 5.4 million people over the age of 70 have experienced memory loss that interrupts their normal routines.

Seniors playing music For people with dementia, music can be a source of comfort,  and can bring back old, pleasant memories. According to  renowned neurologist, Oliver Sacks, best known as the author of  the  books Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and  Musicophilia, Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other  human experience.” He pointed out that pairing music with daily tasks,  such as having a brief conversation or taking medicine can help people  with dementia develop a rhythm they can use later to recall the memory  of that conversation or medicine. “But it’s not just patterns and rhythms — music also taps into the brain’s emotional centers. Music evokes emotion, and emotion can bring with it memory… it brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can,” said Mr. Sacks.

Playing Music Relieves Stress and Engages the Mind

It has been noted that seniors with memory challenges are ideal candidates for music lessons,  especially those who were exposed to music as children. In a 21-year study published in The Journal of Neuropsychology, researchers found that the longer amount of time participants kept up with music lessons, the better they scored on cognitive tests. The test subjects ranged in age from 60 to 83, and showed better memory upon continuing music lessons.

As with many age groups, seniors respond positively to music, whether they are listening, dancing, watching a musical show, or playing an instrument. Not only does music help to decrease memory loss, it is beneficial in other ways. Just listening to lively, upbeat music can help an elderly person feel less lonely or isolated.  Similarly, calm and soothing music can help to relax an elderly person and ease fear or anxiety.  In addition, encouraging an elderly person to sing or participate in musical activities is a great way to help him/her express creativity as well as to communicate.

Seniors themselves have found that music lessons reduce stress levels and helps to keep their minds sharp. Research has proven that playing an instrument stimulates areas of the brain that deal with stress and the ability to focus. In a 21-year study, The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx kept track of nearly 500 seniors between the ages of 75 and 85 who did not have dementia at the beginning of the study. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2003. The studies concluded that there is a strong association between cognitively challenging leisure activities, including playing a musical instrument, and a decreased risk of developing dementia.
Learn more about this topic at:

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/alive-inside-new-documentary-shows-how-music-can-reawaken-alzheime

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8524453/

Singing or Playing a Musical Instrument Improves Children’s Behavior

We have learned from numerous studies by neuroscientists and psychologists, thchild playing an instrumentat music increases cognitive abilities and brainpower in young children, and when used regularly, can continue throughout their adolescent and adult lives. Music has the power to change how we think, feel, and behave. And anyone who listens to music understands how it can lift our mood, and sometimes even help us to endure pain better.

But What Do We Know About Its Effect On Young Children’s Behavior?

A great deal of evidence was discovered after researching children in their early years, which showed that babies can remember music from even before birth. Other studies  explored maternal singing to babies in the womb, and have concluded that the mother’s songs can make a baby feel calm. In their first year, babies can notice all kinds of small differences in musical sequences, which has led some researchers to suggest that we are “biologically pre-programmed” for responding to music right from the start.

Now, according to a new study conducted last year by Dr. Maddie Ohl and Dr. Anne Manyande from the School of Psychology at the University of West London, the effects of playing music (singing or playing an instrument) can improve pro-sociability behavior in very young children. The study, which encompassed 24 girls and 24 boys, age four, also examined whether there was a difference between boys and girls.

The children were grouped randomly into either a “music group” or a “no music group.”  Children in the “music group” sang and played a simple instrument, and children in the “no music” group simply listened to a story. After performing these activities in sequences, the psychologists followed up with two games, a “cooperation game” and a “helping game.”

The problem solving abilities of both groups of children were tested and their reactions were observed during the helping game.  Music improved goodwill for both boys and girls in the “music group” increased by substantial numbers over those children in the “no music” group. In addition, the study found that girls were over twenty times more likely to help than boys. Another positive outcome was improved cooperation among all children in the “music group.”

“We should encourage our children as early as possible to listen to or play music,” says music educator, Paul Bhorgese, who teaches music programs in schools around the country. “Listening to and playing music can help improve a children’s concentration, patience, self-confidence, and coordination, as well as promote relaxation.”

Read more about music and how it affects the young mind by clicking on the links below:

http://superbrainmusic.com/2011/09/16/how-does-music-affect-the-behavior-of-young-people/

http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/type-music-child-listened-affect-way-behave-19821.html

Dazzling Musical Holiday Performances For the Young and the Young-at-Heart

music_and holidays

We put together a list of festive and entertaining holiday shows for the enjoyment of families with young children, and for those who are “kids at heart.” Some of these shows have been a staple in the metropolitan New York area for years, bringing the magic and charm of the holiday season to us through song and dance. You can also check online for other local performances in your area.

 Enjoy!

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular   celebrates the holidays in style by bringing to  life all the facets of a traditional Christmas show. It features a mix of entertainment, including song and dance routines by the amazing Rockettes, and Christmas stories that enchant children and adults alike. Families are dazzled by a variety of performances that include Santa Claus and his elves, wooden soldiers, live camels, and a mini-performance of the birth of Jesus. It continues to amaze and entertain families just as it did in its early years. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular debuted in 1933, the second year after Radio City opened. You can see the show now through December 30, 2013.

The talented and elegant ballet dancers from the New York City Ballet are performing The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center through December 30th. This beloved holiday show features Tchaikovsky’s masterful melodies intertwined with a delightful story that transports the audience to a magical place. The cast of characters: the children, Fritz and Marie, mischievous mice that overtake a battalion of soldiers, candy cane dancers, a Sugar Plum Fairy, and scenes that highlight an onstage blizzard, and the Land of Sweets, to which the children venture and learn a few good lessons in manners. The Nutcracker had its premiere at New York City Center in 1954. It achieved its 2,000th performance by New York City Ballet in December 2007.

A Christmas Story, the Musical, is appearing at Madison Square Garden from December 11th through the 19th. This hilarious, nostalgic, and imaginative Christmas tale mirrors the Broadway hit musical with memorable songs and performances. The musical is based on writer and radio-TV personality Jean Shepherd’s semi-autobiographical story of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker’s desperate attempt to land an air rifle as a Christmas gift, despite warnings from everyone that he’ll shoot his eye out. A warm and funny production, adapted from the popular 1983 movie, A Christmas Story that wins hearts!

Appearing at the historic Players Theatre in the heart of Greenwich Village for the month of December, A Christmas Carol, is a heartwarming musical adaptation of the timeless Charles Dickens classic. It follows Ebenezer Scrooge through the journey that culminates in his personal and spiritual transformation after a visit from the spirits of Christmas past, present and future.

Holiday Shows in Long Island

Frosty, a musical, is the story about Frosty the snowman, a character that brings to mind all the great memories associated with the holidays. This heartwarming production, at the John W. Engeman Theater at Northport, is brought to you live in an endearing musical adaptation, November 3th to January 5th, 2014.

An Nollaig, An Irish Christmas, performed by Eileen Ivers, captures the spirit and magic of the season in a moving holiday show which features traditional Irish songs, original tunes and holiday favorites, specially arranged by Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, which include “The Holly Tree” and “Don Oiche Ud I mBeithil” (One Night in Bethlehem). An Nollaig is a special celebration for all ages and will be appearing on December 13th at the Boulton Center for the Arts of the Great South Bay-YMCA.

The 18th annual Dickens Festival, held on December 6th, 7th & 8th, is an annual Port Jefferson Village holiday celebration of Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol. It features costumed characters, decorated streets and shops, Victorian entertainment and food. This delightful holiday festival has a variety of free or low-cost attractions, such as musical entertainment, carriage and trolley rides, a lantern-lit house tour of historic homes and a “Grand Finale Parade,” sponsored by the Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council.

The Broadhollow Theatre presents Frosty the Snowman, a traditional holiday tale about Frosty and his friend, Jenny, who save the town of Chillsville from Ethel Pierpot’s dastardly plan to melt all the snow. The show is appearing on December 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th. More information can be found at www.broadhollow.org.

The Huntington Choral Society is presenting A Winter Concert, for the entire family. It features American classics to celebrate the season, including the works of Randall Thompson, Norman Dello Joio, Stephen Foster, Eric Whitacre, Gian Carlo Menotti, Stephen Paulus, and many others. The concert will be held on December 14th, at Oakwood and McKay Road, Huntington.

The New Hyde Park Knights of Columbus (1000 Marcus Avenue), will present their annual production of Amahl and the Night Visitors, an Epiphany opera performed in English, on January 5, 2014, 4 p.m. The show captures the timeless story of the three kings, Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, who follow a bright star in the sky that leads them to a newborn king. This moving story, for families of all ages, is coupled with the beautiful melodies of Gian Carlo Menotti’s score. Call 516-352-9004 for tickets and information.

Music To Calm Humans and Their Pets

puppy-and-violin Roll over, Beethoven, as we have learned  through numerous articles and studies  that extraordinary music can heal the  human mind and soul, and inspire  deep emotions that make one feel  happy, sad, blissful or nostalgic. But  did you know that animals are also  uplifted and soothed by beautiful  music? You may remember the old  expression, “Music has charms to  soothe the savage beast,” coined by  William Congreve in The Mourning  Bride, 1697.  Although written  centuries ago, there is great truth in  this old phrase.

If you listen carefully, you can hear  many aesthetically pleasing sounds  that distinctively belong to nature. Although bird songs, whale songs, and many other animal vocalizations have been the subject of intense scientific study, the effect of music on the moods of creatures other than humans remained a mystery for many years.   In a recent article from National Geographic, the writer suggests that the natural sounds produced by whale and bird songs may be part of a “universal music” that leaves an innate musical impression on many animals, humans included.

Here’s an example of how music can effect a pet: one of my friends has a six year-old Labrador Retriever who roams into the room where music is playing, sprawls on the carpet, and appears to listen intently to the tunes emanating from one of their favorite radio stations. The station plays rock and roll classics of the 1960s and 1970s. Soon after, he becomes quiet and eventually takes a nap!

Recently, experts have come together to study the types of music that make animals such as our own pets visibly relax when they hear those tunes.  Animals generally respond well to music that has a specific tempo, pitch or tone in which they are familiar.  It might be the music that you play on your radio every morning or from your favorite DVD.

Animal Psychologist, Charles Snowdon from Wisconsin is an expert on the musical preferences of animals. He explains that you can’t always assume your pet will enjoy the music you like listening to, however, ongoing research has proven that animals enjoy specific tunes that utilize pitches, tones, and tempos familiar to their particular species.

With that in mind, remember that the classical music you like to listen to for relaxation, may not appeal at all to your dog or cat.  But each pet has its own personality, so put on the classics, and see how yours responds!

For pet lovers, we have included sites we’ve researched that provide interesting articles about music and your pets. Visit the links below to learn more:

http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/do-pets-like-some-kinds-of-music-more-than-others

http://pets.thenest.com/kind-music-cats-prefer-10912.html

Note:  Our usual focus is on music and children, however, we strayed from our normal range of topics to bring you interesting and fun news about music and how it effects our pets. Enjoy!

Music Therapy and Its Effect on Children With Autism

autumn tree

According to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control, one in every 150 children in United States is diagnosed with autism, equating to a new diagnosis every 20 minutes.  And these statistics are increasing in distressing numbers. Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder that typically presents during the first three years of life, and affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. A child with symptoms can have any number of behaviors on the “spectrum disorder” associated with autism. Typical symptoms include impaired communication and social interaction, repetitive behavior, and limited interest.

Many people believe that music can heal the soul, but can it help to treat autism?

Neuroscientists have conducted research that has proven that music calms the mind and eases stress. It has been observed that a specific tone, note, or pitch has a powerful effect on the body, and this can help autistic children to improve emotional, psychological, and even physiological health. To address the physical, emotional, social, and cognitive needs of these youngsters, intervention methods, using music and movement therapy have been designed to promote wellness, manage stress, improve communication, and promote physical rehabilitation.Music that engages autistic children in dancing and singing also helps them to learn communication and social skills. According to research by pediatric neurologists, autistic children do not engage in normal social activities, and may be intimidated by human contact, so music sessions offer an outlet for them to express themselves.

Eventually, music therapy can bring them into the realm of song, and may promote an interest in dancing, as well. Both singing and dancing create an emotional outlet as well as a sense of fulfillment, which may have been lacking prior to receiving music therapy because of limited social activity.Autistic children are highly responsive to music, and some children may even begin to communicate through singing. Eventually, they may also begin to show interest in playing a musical instrument, which further helps in acquiring a specific skill.

Music therapy works differently for each child, depending on the personality of the child. Generally, it is beneficial because it makes these children take a more active role in becoming responsive to their environment. The most compelling evidence supporting the clinical benefits of music therapy is in the areas of social-emotional responsiveness and communication, reduced anxiety, and increased interaction with peers. Despite difficulties in the areas of socialization and communication, evidence (see the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2012, Molnar-Szakas, I., Heaton, P.) suggests that many children with autism disorder show a strong and early preference for music and are able to understand simple and complex musical emotions.

For additional information on the benefits of music and music therapy for autistic children, please visit the sites below from the Huffington Post, the Autism Science Foundation, and Musictherapy.org.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-fitzpatrick/music-and-creativity_b_2253464.html

http://autismsciencefoundation.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/music-therapy-may-help-children-with-autism/

http://www.musictherapy.org/assets/1/7/MT_Autism_2012.pdf

How the Use of Colored Notes Help Children Learn to Read Music

colored-music-notesWhen we hear our favorite songs on the radio or on a CD, visual images of the place, the time, and the people we were with fill our heads with color and vivid imagery. Think back to the popular bands that brought us the psychedelic music of the 1960s. If you were an adolescent or young adult from the 60s, you might also remember the hard rock musicians that painted their faces or pranced around on the stage to get their messages across. The colorful pictures we see in our heads, together with the nostalgia associated with it, help us remember the songs.

Even so, music notation, for all of its’ rich history is still in black and white undertones.

That brings us to the topic of learning to read music. For people of any age, learning to read music is not easy. Children aren’t the only ones who can benefit from learning music notes in color. Visual cues are a valuable training tool used in training manuals by corporations to stimulate the brains of their employee. So it makes perfect sense that adults and teenagers, and especially young children, learn quickly when colors and sounds are introduced together when learning the notes.

Here are a few ways that the use of colors help children learn:

  • When the learning environment integrates color, it improves visual processing, reduces stress, and stimulates brain development.
  • Color directs students’ attention, assists with memory, clarifies instructions, and helps visual learners, and there are many students who learn visually.
  • Children learn and retain information longer when color is used in educational material and in the classroom. Eighty percent of the brain receives information visually.
  • Learning with color makes for a more fun atmosphere!

You can make your own colored notes with color strips that sit behind the keys, or you can buy the colored notes from any number of retail or online stores.

When learning the piano with colored notes, the children are able to transition easily to further study because they have learned to read where the note is located on the musical staff, and which key plays that particular note. Colored music notes become instantly recognizable, rather than just seen as a symbol wedged between 5 staff lines. The colors on the keyboard enable young children to play quickly play songs they are familiar with, motivating them to continue learning. While they are reading the different-colored notes on the appropriate line or key, they are also seeing and feeling the keys on the keyboard. The result is that learning music notation is more natural, effective, and fun.

Many people have wondered if there is any difficulty in the transition from color to black and white.  The answer is very simple: Remember when you learned how to ride a bicycle? First, we started out with training wheels. When the training wheels were removed, you were magically riding a bicycle with only two wheels. In a short time, riding became easier, and soon after, it became second nature!

The Benefits of Introducing Your Young Child to a Musical Instrument

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played multiple instruments and began his public performance career at the age of six.  What many do not realize is that Mozart began learning to play years before his debut appearance. Similarly, Frederic Chopin’s first musical composition was at the tender age of seven when he wrote “Polonaise in G Minor,”  and he too began playing several years before.  It is believed that Beethoven began formal lessons at age four or five. Many famous musicians began playing a musical instrument in their toddler years or before.

Regardless of whether your hope for your child to become a famous comchildren playing_violinposer or performer, there are a myriad of reasons why introducing a child to a musical instrument at an early age can benefit him through childhood, adolescent, and adult years. Here are six:

  1.  Increases memory. Research has shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument stimulate your brain and can increase your memory.  In a recent study that was conducted with 22 children from age three to four and-a-half, the youngsters were given either singing or keyboard lessons. A control group of 15 children received no music lessons at all. Both groups participated in the same preschool activities.  The study results reported that preschoolers who had weekly keyboard lessons improved their spatial-temporal skills 34 percent more than the other children. Researchers also stated that this was a long-term effect. http://brainconnection.positscience.com/topics/?main=fa/music-education2#A1)
  2. Enhances capacity for emotional empathy. In an article published in the journal, Psychology of Music, July 2013, scientists conducting a study in primary school age children discovered that long-term repeated participation in musical group interaction (MGI) enhances a capacity for emotional empathy even outside of the musical framework. The findings sheds a new light on the emotional process involved in musical interaction and highlights the remarkable potential for promoting positive social-emotional responses, such as empathy. http://pom.sagepub.com/content/41/4/484.abstract)
  3. Teaches determination/perseverance. Learning to play an instrument takes time and effort, and youngsters who begin at an early age will also learn the important lessons of patience and perseverance.  Even the most astute musician can’t achieve perfection in their performance the first time around. In fact, the majority of musicians have to practice many times on difficult sections of before they can play it correctly.
  4. Enhances coordination. Playing a musical instrument requires a great deal of hand-eye coordination. When you read musical notes on a page, your brain must subconsciously convert that note into precise motor patterns while also adding breathing and rhythm to the blend.
  5. Improves mathematical ability. Reading music requires counting notes and rhythms and helps with your math skills.  Studies have shown that students who play instruments or study the arts are often better in math and achieve higher grades in school than students who do not.
  6. Increases reading and comprehension proficiency. According to many studies conducted by neuro-scientists, and a more recent study published in the journal, Psychology of Music, children who were exposed to a multi-year program of music training involving complex rhythmic, tonal, and practical skills displayed superior cognitive performance in reading skills compared with their non-musically trained peers.

Please visit us at www.trebellina.com for more information and updates how to enrich your lives with music.

Cheers,

Trebellina and friends