November 2015 Posts

Music Education Makes Children Happier, More Focused and More Self-Disciplined

Majorities of parents whose children are involved in music classes also credit
music education for making them happier, more focused, more self-disciplined,
stronger academically and more helpful.
~ NAMM Foundation and Grunwald Associates LLC (2015). Striking a Chord: The Public’s Hopes and Beliefs for K–12 Music Education in
the United States: 2015.

Cold Weather & Contest Season

 

snow-tubasImage credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenpete/5522933139

In case you haven’t noticed it’s here again. COLD WEATHER! Just a reminder that leaving your instrument out in the cold weather can lead to serious repair problems. Especially with woodwind instruments like wooden clarinets, oboes, bassoons and more. If the temperature gets too low it can actually freeze the moisture in the wood and cause it to crack.

When a cold instrument is taken inside it should not be put together and played right away. A rapid rise in the temperature can cause the wood to crack also. It needs to acclimate to the inside temperature. The body on the instrument should be held in your hands and blow some warm air through the bore for a few minutes before putting it together to play.

Like we mentioned this time last year, string instruments are subject to the same conditions. Cold freezing temperatures can cause the wood to crack and also cause the seams where they are glued together to come apart. Just like the woodwind instruments when taken inside after being out in the cold they need a few minutes to acclimate to the inside temperature before being played.

Also……….In case you haven’t noticed something else is almost here again. CONTEST SEASON! Now that marching band is behind us and all the Holiday Concerts are all scheduled it’s time to remember that contest season starts up in January. So getting your instrument in before time and having it in top playing condition can lead to a more successful and less stressful contest season.

Playing An Instrument As A Kid Leads To A Sharper Mind In Old Age

Playing an instrument as a kid leads to a sharper mind in old age, according to a new study conducted by Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, a clinical neuropsychologist in Emory’s Department of neurology, and her colleagues. The researchers gave 70 people between the ages of 60 and 83 a battery of tests to measure memory and other cognitive abilities. The researchers found that those who had played an instrument for a decade or longer scored significantly higher on the tests than those with no musical background.
~ Quoted in Diane Cole, “Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons,” National Geographic, January 3, 2014.

Math, Science and Technology All Link To Music

Nearly 100% of past winners in the prestigious Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology (for high school students) play one or more musical instruments. This led the Siemens Foundation to host a recital at Carnegie Hall in 2004, featuring some of these young people, after which a panel of experts debated the nature of the apparent science/music link.
~ The Midland Chemist (American Chemical Society) Vol. 42, No.1, Feb. 2005

Studies Show Instrument Training Makes It Easier To Focus

Studies have shown that assiduous instrument training from an early age can help the brain to process sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to tensor calculus.
~ Hearing the music, honing the mind. (2010). Scientific American, 303(5), 16