Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My first published article - What does music study do for your child

Oh yeah - did I mention I also teach piano? SH and I run a studio and teach piano and guitar to about 20 families each week. I wrote this article and got published in March, 2008.

What does music study do for your child?
By Julie, MS in education

As my 7 year old male student slumps down onto the piano bench, his face says it all, “I have had a rough day.” “Let’s try and see if playing this song, ‘A Rainbow is a Smile Turned Upside Down’ with a strong, forceful energy might help you get some of that sadness and anger out”, I replied to a skeptical little boy. When he was all done playing as loud as he could, he surprisingly replied, “I DO feel better!!” Perhaps studying music is more powerful then we can even imagine for the young child and adult alike. It gives our soul a voice. Is there, after all, a better way to express the joy of falling in love or the sadness of a breakup than music? We have all been moved to tears and laughter in ways unexplainable through music. This is the voice we teach our students. The silent voice of the soul.

It has become common knowledge through much research thatstudying music helps a child to do better in academic classes such asmath, foreign language, and reading. There is also research indicatingthat music study will increase self-concept, social skills, and coopera­tion. However, I would like to resist the temptation to limit my beliefs in the power of music study for children to these valid, yet limited, assertions. The deeper truth behind music study almost denies the need to justify it: it’s so powerfully interwoven into our culture and our very existence as humans that it could very well be one of the beautiful aspects of our humanness that single handedly unifies us with our heritage, all cultures of the world, and each other as it serves to give our life a deeper meaning.

As parents, we all want our children to lead happy, successful, and fulfilled lives. Our culture has mistakenly convinced many of us that this goal is tied up in the academic grades we get in school. Consider this: in a study done that tried to correlate scores with future success it was found there was no correlation between high SAT scores and success in life. They found that the best predictor of success later in life was a childhood full of hobbies, diverse interests, and participation in extracurricular activities such as music. An “A” received at the expense of a well-rounded life may in fact be misplaced priorities.

Without being musical, we miss the chance to know a deeper part of ourselves. You might hear the music, but without a developed musicality, may miss the intricacies of the musical score that surrounds your life that allows you a deep appreciation for what you hear and a way to express your soul’s response. In our studio, over and over again, two children play the same piece completely differently because those differences are reflecting a bit of who that child is. These children are developing their musicality inwardly as it’s reflected to the outside world. In our opinion, this development is priceless and it is a gift that parent’s can give their children that will serve them for their entire lives as it gives them an avenue to express their very soul’s emotions.

An easy way to try out this world of music before investing in private lessons may be to join some group classes and camps. Joyful Noise Music Studio will be holding beginning and intermediate level 5-day Guitar camps at the Redmond Music Supply Store in Mid-March and then again in Mid-April. These camps are for 9 year olds through adults. Call Cory for more information at For the younger child, ages 0 to 7, try a group music class from Miss Amy of KinderMusik held in Bend. Miss Amy can be reached at 389-6690.

Cory and Julie own a successful music studio teaching guitar and piano to students all over Central Oregon. They can be reached at Julie is currently touring nationally performing and they both monthly join their church’s band in corporate worship.

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