Music is a Mind-Builder

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Another great article from the Omaha World-Herald.

Making a pitch for music. Music is a mind-builder.

Research has found that playing a musical instrument activates parts of the brain involved with logic, creativity and emotions, said Lance Nielsen, president of the Nebraska Music Educators Association and a Lincoln high school band teacher.

By contrast, people solving math problems or building things by hand use only the logical, left side of their brains.

“That says a lot about music, how important it is,” Nielsen said.

Joan Reist of Lincoln, a past president of the Music Teachers National Association, said a foundation for music education can begin when children are babies and toddlers, with activities geared to a child’s mental and physical development.

Families can provide this themselves or join in a group experience with such parent-child activities as Kindermusik or performance-oriented Suzuki programs, Reist said.

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For a more traditional approach to formal music education, starting at about age 7, both Nielsen and Reist like the piano. That’s because it teaches a child how to read music — both the bass and treble clefs — as well as the principles of melody, harmony and rhythm.

Although starting early is great, it’s never too late, said Nielsen.

“Anyone can play a musical instrument. It just takes a little time.”
— Staff writer Jane Palmer

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