Moving on from Mozart

Playing guitar

For most of us (read - ‘for me’), the thought of an instrument entering the household is an action as cringe-worthy as fingernails down a black board.  Thankfully one of my husband’s Aunts had expressed how incredible the formal education in a musical instrument is for a child’s development.

It was therefore with mixed enthusiasm and dread that I took my eldest son along to the strings information evening held by the school.  Images of screeching violins requiring much parental patience danced around in my head. I wasn’t sure if I could make the emotional commitment for this newest extracurricular activity.

That information night was over two years ago and Master Nine is actually quite good.  The practise is more than bearable and his sense of belonging to the music crowd at school is formidable.

There are those beautiful benefits of  extracurricular activities again (read my last two posts here and here for more information).

I digress.

Moving on from Mozart.

The research on the positive benefits of music education are conclusive.  Rauscher, Shaw and Ky wrote an academically published article in 1993 reporting that babies who listened to music by Mozart displayed greater spatial abilities than babies who sat in silence.  The so-called ‘Mozart-effect’ was never exactly replicated, however it did inspire further research on the matter. After studies over 2004 and 2005, Schelleneberg wrote in his article published by Sage Publications on behalf of the Association for Psychological Services;

“Does music make you smarter? The answer is a qualified yes”

Schelleneberg likens learning music to being bilingual and suggests that it is in the learning rather than in the listening that children benefit the most.  

My take home on the whole idea?

Learning a musical instrument is an extremely valuable and valid endeavour.  It has all the benefits of an extracurricular activity and cognitive development exercise wrapped up in one pitch perfect bundall of sound.  And while the thought of enduring beginner concerts and Eisteddfods may not be your idea of a well spent evening, you (like I have been) may be pleasantly surprised at your child’s inner music ability.  

So if you are able to give your child (ren) the opportunity of a musical instrument, I say, “Go for it!”

Do your children play an instrument?  Do you have a fabulous success story or need some tips on getting started?  Come join the chat in The Village by;

  1. Liking my Facebook Page here
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I’ve also put together a few conversation starters if you’d like to introduce the idea of an instrument to your children (or need to ease a skeptical partner into the concept).  It’s this week’s download …  drop me an email and I’ll send it direct to your inbox!

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