October 1, 2012
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Music lessons have a profound effect on memory. In fact, studies have show that children who take music lessons have a significantly more developed verbal memory than children who do not study music. They remember more words, sounds, and inflections than unlearned musicians. Parents who enroll their children in music lessons for recreational purposes rather than professional reasons will still reap the benefits of music study. The current investment made in music lessons will “pay off” in the long run even if only studying for three years. According to many studies, students who took several years of lessons were able to refine their memory even after lessons. These results were drastically different than the results of students who only studied for a few months to a year. Although noticeable at the time of lessons, their abilities decreased as the period between the starting and stopping of lessons increased.
As a musician/parent I would be so bold to state that, “Since music lessons boost the functions of the left brain, (i.e. Logical, Objective, Rational, and Analytical Reasoning) and can make our predominately right brained children more 'whole brained,' music lessons should be interpreted as an important part child rearing.” And if studying music impacts cognitive skills, it seems only logical to recognize that music lessons must also prepare the students for life in other ways too.
Self-motivation, discipline and follow-through on assignments are skills that all of us must develop if we want to be successful. Music teachers are therefore obligated to teach students how to achieve goals from one week. Knowing when to push and encourage a student to achieve high standards and when to coast at the current ability are “key.” From a self-motivation standpoint, reaching a goal is a reason to continue in particular when the student understands how to bring about the desired result on their own. Teachers can show them “how”; parents can remind them of “how,” but ultimately the student must come to the realization of “how to” over and over again on their own. At that point the process is part of their long-term memory. The discipline has been achieved and the self motivation, the desire to continue in other words, was derivative of their ability to do it on their own. As each attainable goal becomes more challenging the student will gain greater confidence. When they consider that a task that was initially difficult is now very simple… there is a reason to continue. There is a desire to see how far they can go if for no other reason than they were uncertain that they would get “this far.” Discipline and follow-through are therefore a natural part of the learning process. The right teacher for the student can and will nurture discipline and follow-through without having to exert a strict approach.
In my opinion, the benefits of music instruction are immeasurable. I also find this statement personally amusing since I was the 4-year old student who hated music lessons, wanted to quit, and quickly realized I had to keep going because I couldn’t be “without the music.” [By the way, I cringe each time I have to admit this to my parents. It’s just one more thing they were right about.] But many college credits and 20+ years of teaching later I feel privileged to see that the legacy I am leaving behind has manifested itself in not only accomplished students, but also genuinely happy individuals who, even after the years of grueling lessons with me, are still playing, sharing, and yes are even teaching music.
I hope that you have found this article engaging and a good reason to begin or continue your child's or your own musical journey. In the event you have not yet begun improving your memory and life-skills via music; our music school would be happy to get you started. We improve the memories of students’ ages 4 years old to adult depending on the instrument. Piano, Voice and Guitar lessons examples of the mind boosting lessons we offer and we can bring all of the supplemental materials to you with the help of our buy book stores and musical Lending Libraries.
For more information about piano, voice or guitar lessons, visit us online at www.pianolessonsinyourhome.com or call 614-847-1212. Mention that you read this article and receive One Free Lesson with your first paid month.
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