Tuesday, June 13, 2017 by Carolyn Nelson | UncategorizedThis article was written to give students encouragement and advice when it comes to practicing efficiently. Whether you are a new student or seasoned one - efficiently practicing your pieces makes all the difference. Some are preparing for recitals/concerts, but others just need this advice for daily tools in helping them practice.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 by Carolyn Nelson | Uncategorized
Music lessons spur emotional and behavioral growth in children, new study says
By Amy Ellis Nutt Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Amy Ellis Nutt covers health and science for The Washington Post.
Music training not only helps children develop fine motor skills, but aids emotional and behavioral maturation as well, according to a new study, one of the largest to investigate the effects of playing an instrument on brain development.
Using a database produced by the National Institutes of Health Magnetic Resonance (MRI) Study of Normal Brain Development, researchers at the University of Vermont College of Medicine analyzed the brain scans of 232 healthy children ages six to 18 specifically looking at brain development in children who play a musical instrument. (The original study did not indicate specific instruments.)
"What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument," said James Hudziak, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, "it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control."
The cortex, or outer layer of brain, changes in thickness as a child grows and develops. Previously, Hudziak and colleagues Matthew Albaugh and Eileen Crehan found relationships between cortical thickening and thinning in various areas of the brain responsible for depression, aggression and attention problems. This research, announced last month in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, was different.
"I wanted to look at positive things, what we believe benefits child development," Hudziak said. "What I was surprised by was the emotional regulatory regions. Everyone in our culture knows if I lift 5-pound, 10-pound, 15-pound weights, my biceps will get bigger. The same is true for the brain. We shouldn't be surprised we can train the brain.”
Because the study's participants were all mentally healthy children, Hudziak thinks the positive effect of music training on those who are not could be significant.
"A kid may still have ADHD", he said, "It's the storm around it that improves".
Inspired by his own research, and having never learned to play an instrument, the 56-year-old Hudziak decided to take viola lessons last year.
"I had this passion for health promotion in children, it seemed silly not to do it myself," he said.
Though music isn't his only health-related extracurricular activity — Hudziak also engages in regular exercise and meditation — he believes the viola lessons contribute to his overall wellness. They have not, however, contributed much to his overall playing ability — at least not yet. The sanguine psychiatrist had just one word for his viola skills:
Friday, July 31, 2015 by Carolyn Nelson | Uncategorized
Dear Parents of young children (ages 4-6):
I am thrilled to be able to offer a wonderful new curriculum by Piano Pronto Publishing called "Roadtrip! - My Musical Memory Book". "Roadtrip" is a primer level method book for very early beginners ages 4 and up. Students have weekly 30 minute "play dates" (lessons!) where they master basic music fundamentals while creating a musical memory book that becomes a keepsake item to commemorate their maiden voyage into piano lessons. There are improvisation activities, ear training, composing, and duets with the teacher.
If interested, please fill out the Contact form and we will contact you as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation with you and your child (no charge), or email me at acornmusicstudios.com
Owner/Teacher of Acorn Music Studios