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
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