“Music lessons are not just a NICE thing to give your children, but a tremendously POWERFUL thing to grow your child’s intelligence”, says Andrew Pudewa former Suzuki violin teacher, Kindermusik teacher and now director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing and a homeschooling father of seven.
I just listened to Pudewa’s audio presentation entitled The Profound Effects of Music on Life and was fascinated with all the research showing the importance of music on brain development. http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/mus
Mr. Pudewa quotes research done by Dr. Francis Rauscher, a behavioral psychologist. She had four different preschool groups receive 20 minutes of after school instruction for 6 months. Each group was composed of 20 preschoolers. One group had free play, one group had singing, another had computers and the fourth group had piano lessons. At the onset of the experiment, each preschooler was given a puzzle representing a camel, that they were timed to see how fast they could put together. After 6 months of their daily 20 minutes afterschool activity, they again were tested. Scores naturally were higher in each group, considering that the children were older but the preschool children given six months of keyboard instruction increased spatial-temporal IQ scores by an average of 46% over the other supplemental instruction groups!
Why does learning to play the piano (or other musical instrument)increase intellectual capacity? Because it changes the brain! When you learn a musical instrument you are utilizing three of the senses: hearing, seeing and touch. These form neural pathways in different parts of the brain and you are "growing your brain power".
But another reason for teaching your young children to play music was said best by Dr. Suzuki, founder of the Suzuki Method. He said "if children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart." And that is worth getting!