Kids are little sponges with keen eyes and sensitive ears. It’s amazing what they are able to pick up on in their environment. Whether it’s gossip between grown-ups or the subtle moments of panic in their teacher during lag-time in school day activities, kids are something else! What’s more, it is this acute sensitivity to the world around them that makes parents realize that their own contribution to their child’s well-being includes creating as much of an enriched world as they can provide.
An enriched environment can include play dates, extra-curricular sports, youth groups, family game nights, education-specific toys, and, of course, music lessons. We here at Park Cities School of Music have written on the topic of music lessons and their impact on children a few times, but we feel that providing information for consumption on this topic by our parents is crucial. Below are some great articles from PBS and The New York Times highlighting the benefit of music education in children. We’ve also included an absolutely sweet blog entry from a mom that decided to take her 9-year-old daughter to the opera…priceless!The Benefits of Music Education by Laura Lewis Brown: http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/ Excerpt: Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music. Early Music Lessons Have Longtime Benefits by Perri Klass, M.D.: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/early-music-lessons-have-longtime-benefits/ Excerpt: Researchers at Northwestern University recorded the auditory brainstem responses of college students — that is to say, their electrical brain waves — in response to complex sounds. The group of students who reported musical training in childhood had more robust responses — their brains were better able to pick out essential elements, like pitch, in the complex sounds when they were tested. And this was true even if the lessons had ended years ago. I took my 9-year-old to the opera, and she loved it by Amy Graff: http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2012/09/17/i-took-my-9-year-old-to-the-opera-and-she-loved-it/ Excerpt: Last year when my daughter was 8 years old, I took her to the San Francisco Opera’s shortened version of Carmen for families. She was enchanted by the elaborate costumes, the richly textured voices and the bustling pageantry, and when I tucked her into bed that night she was humming Bizet’s beloved aria Habanera. She was thrilled—yet also irritated because she didn’t get to see the full performance and missed an entire act. She felt cheated. Ever since my daughter has been asking me to take her to a “real” opera, and last weekend her dream finally came true.