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How best to introduce your child to playing music

The Irish Times – Sheila Wayman

“The most important thing is to develop a culture of music at home, before you even think about lessons, says Andrew Jordan, director of the Newpark Music Centre in south Co Dublin. “Sometimes, people see learning an instrument as something very separate and it’s a kind of ‘tick the box exercise’. Whereas it needs to be in the context of fostering a child’s appreciation of music, playing it at home and going to see live performances.”.” (more)

Music makes children disciplined, confident, says this parent

Hindustan Times – Namrata Kohli

“Here is an honest confession – each one of us as parents have dreams, desires and aspirations. It all right to want our children to be happy doing what they want for themselves, but no parent can deny nurturing dreams for his or her children – which he or she hopes will be fulfilled someday. I have always wanted my children, son Naman, 12, and daughter Mannat, eight, to receive the wonderful gift of music. I’ve always wanted them to be associated with the beautiful world of sound, rhythm, music, through musical instruments or the vocal or dance mediums.”(more)

Music training strengthens children’s brains, decision-making network

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“If the brain is a muscle, then learning to play an instrument and read music is the ultimate exercise. Two new studies from the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC show that as little as two years of music instruction has multiple benefits. Music training can change both the structure of the brain’s white matter, which carries signals through the brain, and gray matter, which contains most of the brain’s neurons that are active in processing information. Music instruction also boosts engagement of brain networks that are responsible for decision making and the ability to focus attention and inhibit impulses.”(more)

How to improve the school results: not extra maths but music, loads of it

The Guardian – Josh Halliday

“Abiha Nasir, aged nine, walks quietly into the small classroom, takes a seat, adjusts her hijab and picks up the drumsticks. A shy smile spreads across her face as she begins to play. She was just five when she turned up at Feversham primary academy’s after-school clubs, leaving teachers astounded by her musical ability and how her confidence grew with an instrument in hand. Last year, Abiha successfully auditioned for Bradford’s gifted and talented music programme for primary school children, the first Muslim girl to do so. The assessor recorded only one word in her notes: “Wow!” Abiha’s teachers say her talent might have gone unspotted in many schools, where subjects such as music and art are being squeezed out by pressure to reach Sats targets and climb league tables.”(more)

Playing brain games ‘of little benefit’, say experts

BBC – Staff Writer

“Brain training games may not provide the benefits to brain health they claim to, according to experts. Instead, a report from the Global Council on Brain Health recommends that people engage in stimulating activities such as learning a musical instrument, designing a quilt or gardening. It said the younger a person started these activities, the better their brain function would be as they aged.”(more)

How music and songs boost language learning

Multi Briefs – Sheilamary Koch

“If you’ve ever studied a new language, you know how overwhelming it can be to absorb all that new vocabulary, pronounce things right and correctly use the grammar. Singing a language can make it easier to learn, according to research that found people who sang words or short phrases from a foreign language instead of speaking them were twice as good at remembering them later.”(more)