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Showing posts from July, 2009

Music Lessons Help Improve Math Skills

From Newsweek, 7/24/00:
"The most controversial finding about the musical mind is that learning music can help children do better at math. When a researcher at the recent conference in New York brought up these studies, he got an auditoriumful of laughs. Yet the link, reported in 1997 by Gordon Shaw of the University of California, Irvine, and Frances Rauscher at the University of Wisconsin, has held up. Last year Shaw compared three groups of second graders: 26 got piano instruction plus practice with a math video game, 29 received extra English lessons plus the math game and 28 got no special lessons. After four months the piano kids scored 15 percent to 41 percent higher on a test of ratios and fractions than the other kids. This year, Shaw reported that music can help bridge a socioeconomic gap. He compared second graders in inner-city Los Angeles to fourth and fifth graders in more affluent Orange County, Calif. After a year of piano, the second graders who received twice-a-w…

Sorry Kids, Piano Lessons Make You Smarter

From Forbes.com, 7/15/04:
"It's sure to be music to parents' ears: After nine months of weekly training in piano or voice, new research shows young students' IQs rose nearly three points more than their untrained peers. 

The Canadian study lends support to the idea that musical training may do more for kids than simply teach them their scales--it exercises parts of the brain useful in mathematics, spatial intelligence and other intellectual pursuits."

Read the rest of this article here.

The recital's over...and I'm tired!

Phew! That was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. All the performers were great, and I feel very encouraged that each one of these events is better than the last. Jason & I will continue our striving to always present a quality concert experience.
There are a few things that we can improve on for the next recital in December, including:
- Giving actual tickets to the parents & students who pay the recital fee in advance. Having physical tickets to hand to the door person will eliminate any confusion as to who has paid already, how much they have paid, which student they're with, etc. Just hand them your ticket, and you're in, program in hand.
- Jason & I are hopeful that in the future we can enlist older (or at least more mature) students who are willing to assist as members of the stage crew. Working as part of the stage crew is a different part of the concert experience featuring setting-up, tearing down, problem-solving, and working together as a group. It could…

July 2009 -- Teaching schedule & upcoming events

-- The July 12th recital is imminent. It will be held in the music department at CSUEB in Hayward. We’ve reserved the recital hall from noon - 4 pm that day. Per our usual, the performers will be divided into 2 groups. The first group will start at 1pm, and the second group around 2:30pm. Watch this space the next couple days for further recital info!
-- My teaching schedule will be uninterrupted during the month of July. However, I am performing in a summer musical workshop at CSUEB the weekend of July 24-25. I will need to leave teaching early on the evenings 7/20, 7/21, and 7/23 for dress rehearsals. I am hopeful that I will be able to schedule my evening students at different time slots that week. Students I see earlier in the day will be unaffected. This new musical I'll be performing is called "Almond Eyes", and you can learn more about it here should you be interested.
-- Parents & students: please continue to keep me informed as summer travel and vacation plans…

MTAC Convention 2009 - Day 3

The weekend rolls along. I woke up bright and early this Sunday morning to attend:
Film Scoring Seminar with Glen Stark, "Teaching Film Scoring in a Traditional Studio" - I am interested in developing a method for teaching music composition to interested students. A further step past that goal is the possibility of instructing students in scoring music for film (!). While I have composed my fair share of original music, I have never worked on synchronizing music to film, so I am presently lacking expertise. Mr. Stark is the leading light in this new MTAC program. He presented a short lecture on how to teach film scoring, and then fielded questions from the audience. Many teachers were concerned about the technical aspects of the program, i.e. how to employ certain computer software, how to record the music, etc. It's a new avenue of instruction, and it appears that very few MTAC teachers have attempted to teach film scoring thus far. I need to allow this idea to simmer for a…

MTAC Convention 2009 - Day 2

Day 2 of the convention was invigorating. I took in much great information today and will focus on digesting said information over the next few months.
Here are the events I attended today:
Hans Boepple Advanced Master Class: - I arrived late to this event. Our country's forefathers fought and earned many things. Today I decided that among the things they won is my personal right to sleep in on July 4, Independence Day. Thank you, forefathers. Anyway, Hans Boepple is a piano master. Last fall I attended a he gave on the music of J.S. Bach. Boepple is filled with a depth of knowledge. I caught the 2nd hour of his "Master Class" today and it was excellent. Several high school-age students performed for him and he offered critiques. This can sometimes be a very clinical process, but Boepple managed to keep things light and always encouraging for the students.
Michael Schneider Lecture on Louis Gottschalk: - Gottschalk (1829-1869) was America's first musical virtuoso. He is pa…

MTAC Convention 2009 - Day 1

I am attending the annual Music Teachers Association of CA (MTAC) convention in Santa Clara this weekend.
Here's a summary of the events I attended today:
New Music lecture by Gail Lew: - A presentation of newly published works for piano. Each attendee received a packet with descriptive listings regarding the new works. The packet also included complimentary copies of select pieces. Free stuff -- hooray!

Melody Bober lecture: - Mlle. Bober gave suggestions for how to effectively teach rhythm to younger students. I need to buy a wood block!

Michael Schneider Intermediate Master Class: - Schneider, a noted concert pianist and teacher, tutored a select group of 5 students. Each student prepared 1 piece to perform, and then Schneider spent 10-15 minutes with each performer making suggestions and encouraging each how they can improve future performances. Some of these kids are musical machines. I am thinking of one of the little rascals in particular, though unlike your typical robot, he was …