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ARTICLES ABOUT CHILDREN AND PIANO

We hope you enjoy these excerpts regarding children and piano.

From Newsweek July 24, 2000

Music on the Mind

by Sharon Begley

Playing piano increases math scores."....The most controversial finding about the musical mind is that learning music can help children do better at math. When a researcher at a recent conference in New York brought up these studies, he got an auditorium full of laughs. Yet the link, reported in 1997 by Gordon Shaw of the University of California, Irvine, and Frances Rauscher at the University of Wisconsin, has held up."

"...Last year Shaw compared three groups of second graders: 26 got piano instruction plus practice with a math video game, 29 received extra English lessons plus the math game, and 28 got no special lessons. After four months the piano kids scored 15 percent to 41 percent higher on a test of ratios and fractions than the other kids."

"...But might music work its magic simply by making school more enjoyable, or because music lessons bring kids more one-on-one time with teachers? If that were so, then music should bring about improvement in many subjects. But it doesn't. Although kids who receive music training often improve somewhat across the board due to the "good mood" and attention effects, finds psychologist Martin Gardiner of Brown University, 'they just shoot ahead in math. This can't be explained by social effects or attention alone. There is something specific about music and math.' "

"...The brain seems to be a sponge for music and, like a sponge in water, is changed by it. The brain's left and right hemispheres are connected by a big trunk line called the corpus callosum. When they compared the corpus callosum in 30 nonmusicians with the corpus callosum in 30 professional string and piano players, researchers led by Dr. Gottfried Schlaug of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston found striking differences. The front part of this thick cable of neurons is larger in musicians, especially if they began their training before the age of 7."

"....Music has charms to soothe a savage breast, but scientists are finding that it works those charms through the brain. Several lines of evidence suggest that the human brain is wired for music, and that some forms of intelligence are enhanced by music. Perhaps the most striking hint that the brain holds a special place in its gray matter for music is that people can typically remember scores of tunes, and recognize hundreds more. But we can recall only snippets of a few prose passages." 

 

 

From "The Heart of Teaching" 

(Newsletter distributed to Elementary School Teachers)

                                

Playing piano increases concentration."Educational researchers have known for years that certain kinds of music can increase concentration and boost retention in learners. Now it's being found that the effects of music are even more wide-ranging than currently thought." 

 

"The power and effectiveness of using music to enhance learning, abstract thinking and memory retention are well documented."

 

"Students who listened to Mozart for ten minutes before taking a standardized test raised their scores in spatial and abstract reasoning. On an intelligence test, the gain was nine points after only ten minutes of listening."

 

"On standardized college entrance exams, students taking music classes scored 20-40 points higher than students who didn't take music."

 

"Worldwide, all of the countries that are top-rated in science and math have strong music and art programs."

 

"People who listened to light classical music for 90 minutes while editing a manuscript increased accuracy by 21% in a University of Washington study."

 

"Researchers have found that whatever an individual's musical preferences, music.....invariably calms the listener's mind and body rhythms; improves spatial perception; and promotes better communication of emotions, concepts and thoughts."

 

Red musical note: start your child reading music today!

TOPICS OF INTEREST TO PARENTS:

"What is a good age to start piano lessons?"

"What are the benefits of playing piano for my child?"

"How can I help my child read sheet music at the piano?"

Piano Lessons: A Child's Point of View

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1. 107 page illustrated THE CHRISTMAS CAROL KIT Book with 44 songs, Play Along Audio CD, and removable stickers   

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4. 132 page TEACH YOURSELF PIANO STEP BY STEP Book, 56 minute DVD Video and removable stickers 

5. 141 page THE BIG BOOK OF SONGS BY NUMBER Book with 130 songs, and removable stickers 

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