Lee Galloway Piano Performer and Teacher
Lee Galloway Piano - Soothing the Soul
Music Study and the Brain

   One of the things that makes me an effective teacher is that I regularly attend conventions and conferences throughout the country on music and teaching. I am constantly discovering new music and teaching techniques that benefit my students.

   Recently, I have discovered some very impressive research results that were so astounding that I feel strongly that everyone should know about them. These studies suggest that music study (and especially piano lessons) directly affects the development of the brain leading to higher I.Q., better study habits and improved physical coordination.

   In one study, they found that in most adults the section of the brain that connects the left hemisphere of the brain to the right had approximately 15% of its neurons actually interconnected to both two hemispheres of the brain. In adults who had had piano or keyboard study before the age of eleven, the level of interconnected neural pathways between the two hemispheres had doubled to 30%! This represents a permanent physical change in the structure of the brain, which suggests significantly increased brain efficiency as well as physical coordination.

   Another study shows that students that have private music study, do better in school, have better study habits, get better grades and score higher on certain standard tests. This makes sense in view of the neurological development described above.

   A third study showed that 94% of doctors had music study as a child. In consideration of the discipline and dedication it takes to get through medical school, it's easy to see why students whose neural pathways were better developed and whose brains had become more efficient would do better under such demanding conditions.

   This is not to say that every child is expected to enter some rigorous study like medical school. This does show, however, that music study offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to give your child a significant advantage that will change his or her life.

   If your child is taking piano lessons, congratulations! Encourage you child in a positive way at all times-and especially after practice-so that he or she will continue to love music and look forward to both lessons and practicing.

   If your child is not currently taking lessons, please encourage him or her to start as soon as possible. You owe it to your child's future to give this very serious consideration and to do what it takes to ensure that your child has this incredible advantage.

   So often, I meet adults who wish their parents had made them take lessons. Now we know their loss is much greater than just the loss of music. The greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of music, especially now that we know that this gift has so much more to offer.

Study results available on request

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