Stuff for Parents!

  A child’s brain develops faster with exposure to music educationLink to article

Children’s brains develop faster with music training

Five-year USC study finds significant differences between kids who learned to play instruments and those who didn’t

Link  to article

Why I’m Glad That I Participated In My School’s Music Program
By Charlotte Hands
Link to article

5 Ways to Support Your Music Program

3 Reasons Why Now — More Than Ever — America Needs Music in its Schools
By Tony Mazzocchi

The importance of keeping a beat: Researchers link ability to keep a beat to reading, language skills

Struggling getting your child to practice their instrument?

10 Tips to Encourage Your Child to Practice Link
     Image result for parent child practice piano struggle

Even Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart admits trying to cut corners when it came to practicing piano


The Kodaly Method has been the official methodology of District #761 since 1996.  It is rigorous, artistic holds the belief that every child is a musician.   It was created by the Hungarian Composer Zoltan Kodaly.   We were one of the first to fully institute this method in the United States (Yes Owatonna!) and now it has seen a revival all across the USA and Europe. 
Follow this LINK for an interview with Kodaly's Widow about this revival from the Budapest Times.

 Kodály Zoltán

Here's an article from "Limelight" an arts Magazine from Australia on how making music can positively re-wire your brain!
Click this Link to view the article by Delia Bartle
With all day Kindergarten, Owatonna has also started music classes by music specialists in the Kindergarten classroom
The benefits are many and we are so excited to experience music with them!
Research has shown even since 1998 (see article link below) that music education plays a huge role in the development of children in Pre-K

The Importance of Music in Early Childhoodby Lili M. Levinowitz General Music Today

Link to Article
PROJECT LITERACY shares neuroscience evidence that music education can make you a better reader.
They dub it the "musician's advantage"
Follow the link and read all about it. 
Link To Article
In Minnesota! A choir for people facing Alzheimer's taps into music's power to circumvent memory loss.
Follow the  Link and read the Star Tribune article.
Link to Star Tribune Article
There's video of them practicing!

Learning to perform music in youth helps older people retain listening skills, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.



Music is a life skill that actually helps contribute to academic success!

Watch the amazing power of music as the Piano Guys have a surprise performance at a long-term care facility!

"Playing Music" includes your voice.  Whenever you are singing, you are also using motor skills in breathing controlling pitch etc.  Students also play melodic and rhythm classroom instruments on a regular basis


Leave it to a Pre-schooler......

The joy of moving and making music!

"Is Music The Key To Success?"

New York Times Article 10-12-13

Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields? 

Link to "Is Music the Key Too Success"


Never too young (or old) to start......

This article was originally published with the title Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind. 

Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind
Music produces profound and lasting changes in the brain. Schools should add classes, not cut them
  Katy Perry making music with a young girl with autisim

Principal fires security guards to hire art teachers — and transforms elementary school
Updated 3 days ago
By Katy Tur, Correspondent, NBC News
ROXBURY, Mass. — The community of Roxbury had high hopes for its newest public school back in 2003. There were art studios, a dance room, even a theater equipped with cushy seating.
A pilot school for grades K-8, Orchard Gardens was built on grand expectations.
But the dream of a school founded in the arts, a school that would give back to the community as it bettered its children, never materialized.
Instead, the dance studio was used for storage and the orchestra's instruments were locked up and barely touched.
The school was plagued by violence and disorder from the start, and by 2010 it was rank in the bottom five of all public schools in the state of Massachusetts.
That was when Andrew Bott — the sixth principal in seven years — showed up, and everything started to change.
“We got rid of the security guards,” said Bott, who reinvested all the money used for security infrastructure into the arts.
Orchard Gardens a one-time 'career killer' In a school notorious for its lack of discipline, where backpacks were prohibited for fear the students would use them to carry weapons, Bott’s bold decision to replace the security guards with art teachers was met with skepticism by those who also questioned why he would choose to lead the troubled school.
“A lot of my colleagues really questioned the decision,” he said. “A lot of people actually would say to me, ‘You realize that Orchard Gardens is a career killer? You know, you don't want to go to Orchard Gardens.’”
But now, three years later, the school is almost unrecognizable. Brightly colored paintings, essays of achievement, and motivational posters line the halls. The dance studio has been resurrected, along with the band room, and an artists’ studio.
The end result? Orchard Gardens has one of the fastest student improvement rates statewide. And the students — once described as loud and unruly, have found their focus. “We have our occasional, typical adolescent ... problems,” Bott said. “But nothing that is out of the normal for any school.”
The school is far from perfect. Test scores are better, but still below average in many areas. Bott says they’re “far from done, but definitely on the right path.”
The students, he says, are evidence of that. ‘I can really have a future in this’
Eighth grader Keyvaughn Little said he’s come out of his shell since the school’s turnaround. “I've been more open, and I've expressed myself more than I would have before the arts have came.”
His grades have improved, too. Keyvaughn says it’s because of the teachers — and new confidence stemming from art class.
“There's no one particular way of doing something,” he said. “And art helps you like see that. So if you take that with you, and bring it on, it will actually help you see that in academics or anything else, there's not one specific way you have to do something.”
Keyvaughn has now been accepted to the competitive Boston Arts Academy, the city’s only public high school specializing in visual and performing arts.
“All of the extra classes and the extra focus on it and the extra attention make you think that, ‘Hey, oh my gosh, I can really have a future in this, I don't have to go to a regular high school — I can go to art school,'” he said.
Chris Plunkett, who has taught visual arts at Orchard Gardens for the past three years, said the classes help develop trust between the faculty and students. During one particularly memorable project, he asked his eighth graders to write a memoir about a life experience and what they learned from it and then create a self-portrait.
“I couldn't believe how honest and candid they were, and how much I learned about them,” Plunkett said. “I mean it was really, it was one of the most incredible things I've seen in eighth graders.”
Noting that kids need more than test prep, he added, it may have seemed “a little crazy” to get rid of the security guards to hire art teachers but “I definitely feel it was the right move in the end.”
Click on the Link Below to see the NBC News Video. School Violence Decreases After Including Fine Arts In Curriculum <
Aricle by my friend and mentor Ann Kay
who has founded the Center for Lifelong Music Making

A Musically Incompetent Nation

The majority of our nation’s eighth-grade students can’t sing in tune, play instruments or read music. If you take them to a ball game, they can’t sing the national anthem in tune even if they know the words. Most can’t play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" on an instrument. If you locked the refrigerator door with a combination that required simple rhythmic drumming to open it, most would starve to death.

Let’s be serious now. What difference does it make if they can’t sing? They get all the music they want on the radio and through CDs. Are they going to be any smarter, richer, or happier if they can belt out a tune or beat out a rhythm?

Yes! Studies indicate that musical ability is as related to intelligence as is math or language. Music is an intelligence, says Dr. Howard Gardner, a cognitive psychologist at HarvardUniversity. In fact, making music may affect the very organization of the brain which positively impacts achievement in math, reading, and other disciplines. A study in Pawtucket, Rhode Island based on the Kodály (Ko-dye) music education approach documented improved math and reading achievement, behavior and attitude in first grade students. The students received more music time, visual arts, and the involvement of their classroom teachers. A replication of this study at Powderhorn Community School in Minneapolis Public Schools yielded similar results, with the most significant gains in word recognition and math. Another study reveals that young children who can tell the difference between different pitches become better readers. A Wisconsin study finds that kindergartners who play piano keyboards can also put puzzles together much faster.

Then, there are the actual brain studies, such as the one that found that children who start practicing an instrument before they are nine have a larger area in their brains that processes sound. Researcher Marian Diamond says that rats with toys in their cages grow thicker cortexes within four days. Rats in other cages watching rats with toys don’t exhibit brain growth. Most of us see this as common sense: you learn by doing. And you learn music by making music.
Everyone can learn to sing in tune and play instruments because music making is learned behavior. Sure, some individuals are exceptional at it, but music is no more a special talent or gift than is math or reading. The tragedy is that we teach as if it is, so most of our children never learn to make music well. Only a small percentage receive private lessons because their parents pay for them. Only 1/3 of all students continue singing in choir or playing in band or orchestra into their early teens. That means that 2/3 of all students are taught minimal skills with an emphasis on learning to "appreciate” the music that others make. The overwhelming majority is finished with music making by age twelve!
What if we fostered a musically-competent population by engaging every student in music making every day in every classroom by:
  • singing and playing games to create a fun, cooperative environment?
  • singing to foster social cohesion?
  • singing and chanting math facts to increase automaticity and retention?
  • singing and reading ballads to develop fluency and vocabulary?
What would happen to attendance? Motivation? Vitality?
It's time to launch a music-making movement. Our nation's future depends on it.
Music therapy and the recovery of Gabby Giffords-an amazing story
Music truly is for EVERYONE
This is one of my favorite videos of Adults having fun making music
It's a flashmob of the Halleluiah Chorus
It just makes me smile.
Remember Bobby McFerren of "Don't Worry  Be Happy?"  Bobby is a Minnesota Native who works to promote music education in public schools and the use of music in life long learning as well as a nationally known entertainer. We don’t know much about the human brain on music. Do people instinctively know the sound patterns of the simple five tone pentatonic scale? Is there a base level of musical knowledge in all of us, just waiting to be tapped? ? Improvisational genius Bobby McFerrin uses audience participation to demonstrate the power of the pentatonic scale—or at least the audience’s familiarity with it Bobby's parents are both music teacher which explains a lot.........
Composer and Educator Zoltan Kodaly was asked when a child's music education began. He first answered "nine months before the birth of the child" and then revised it to "nine months before the birth of the mother"  In this video, 3 year old Jonathan is on the 'fast track' to a professional conducting career!
I had two grandmothers and a mother-in-law who I lost to Alzheimers.  My mother-in-law couldn't remember what she had for breakfast and talked to my husband as if he were her deceased brother. Frankie could remember her army service number and words to songs- songs that she sang as a child, when in the army and in her years married to her husband Lew.  Here are a few stories that show how music listening and making can help those we love remember and experiece the joy of being alive.

A recent article from Dr. Oz and Roizen of the benefits of music for everyone!

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