Marvellous Maestros by Sonia Bestulic

#ReeceGiveMeSomePeace #blogtour #BooksOnTour #Day5

Author Article by Sonia Bestulic

Sonia Bestulic, Speech Pathologist and Author of Reece Give Me Some Peace! explores the wonders that making music and learning an instrument can bring to your child.


I love giving instruments as gifts to younger children – the parents often roll their eyes at me, with a half-hearted ‘thanks’ as they imagine the “noise” that will soon descend upon them… But hey, it will keep the kids busy, and even busier and more fun, if you can join in with your own instrument or vocals!

Kids in general, no matter their age, love having a go at making music (and noise); it is a quality way for them to ‘play around’ with aspects such as rhythm, pitch (high-low sounds) and volume (loud-soft).

So much research has been conducted in the last ten years, looking in to music education and the benefits it can have on child development. This is not so much about listening to music, but rather having your child learn how to play an instrument or to sing.

Brain scans of individuals with and without musical training look different; as music education produces bigger and better functioning brains. This is due to the “full brain workout” that comes with making music! “Musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain that we know about…” (Daniel Levitin, This is Your Brain on Music)

There are many exciting findings, which give motivation to have your child learn an instrument or sing. Here are some proven benefits, just to name a few;

  • Improved language abilities – music training has shown children to learn words faster, develop a wider vocabulary and learn to how to read sooner.
  • Increased attention span and focus – regular music education actively trains the brain, and research highlights improvements in the classroom; with listening, processing information and concentration.
  • Greater creativity – both the left and right sides of the brain communicate at the same time during music making, which means the brain can more efficiently process information from the senses; hearing, touch and sight.
  • Better working memory – this helps us remember things, and is crucial for tasks like arithmetic and reading comprehension.
  • Increased empathy and emotional intelligence – as there is better ability to interpret and understand people’s emotion, and also listen to the subtle changes in their speech/ voice that show their underlying emotions.
  • Stronger self-confidence

Other studies have found a strong link between learning to play an instrument and academic success. Dr Sylvain Moreno, from the Rotman Research Institute, reports recent breakthrough evidence that shows “learning to play an instrument leads to changes in a child’s brain that make it more likely they will reach their full cognitive and academic potential”.

The added bonus musicians experience is greater social awareness, as they make music with others e.g. a choir, an orchestra, quartet, or a band, they are learning to collaborate with others, share their attention and co-operate. Invaluable skills for both personal and professional life!

My picture book Reece Give Me Some Peace! is very much inspired by my musically entwined childhood having played the violin, and it also celebrates the joy musical instruments can bring; especially to children. To start with, it may all sound a bit like noise, but we must remember that children learn through play and fun, and for young cheeky Reece, he loves making noise… well I’m sure he’d consider it music! So, as much I and my fellow parent friends do enjoy some peace and quiet at times, it is not always possible when there are musical instruments at play! Feel free to join in with Reece on his journey of musical exploration!

Ultimately, whether it is the violin, trumpet, drums or your own voice box; that ability to communicate oneself through music is an amazing, healthy escape, and fantastic form of expression.

So, get down with the funky beat, and enjoy creating it too!

References include:

An Overview of Current Neuroscience Research – The Benefits of Music Education (The Royal Conservatory, March/ April 2014)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2536032/Playing-classical-music-baby-improve-listening-skills-later-life.html

 

Perum pum pum your way over to Teena Raffa-Mulligan’s website, In Their Own Write for a spectacular interview with Sonia.


Have yourself at a BLAST at Sonia’s Book Launch for Reece Give Me Some Peace!

Click the image for details.


Play it LOUD for a Chance to WIN!

If you love music and noisy play then this book giveaway is right up your jazzy alley! Click the image to enter.



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