In Cleveland it has been snowy, cold, and generally the perfect weather to stay inside and curl up with a blanket, a good book, and my thoughts 🙂 Now I don’t often sit with my thoughts and ask the question as to whether or not my profession has value – both musically and in making my students better humans. Day in and day out I see the effects that private lessons and band and orchestra opportunities can have on students of all ages.
But it is important that I take time to reflect on the advantages of music itself, how I can best teach to enhance these advantages, and (very importantly) how to best communicate these advantages to my studio families.
Have you taken time to reflect on the music advantage recently? This month’s book of the month recommendation helped me reopen the conversation within my own mind … and I enjoyed the read so much that I’m sharing it with you!
In The Music Advantage: How Music Helps Your Child Develop, Learn, and Thrive by Anita Collins, you will find a brilliant example of a PhD who is able to write with the average reader’s understanding in mind. Is there an advantage to studying music? Anita Collins wades through the neuroscience and music education research and breaks it apart in easy-to-read chapters that had me so excited I couldn’t put the book down. In plain terms, Dr. Collins breaks her own research into 4 sections age group sections, and highlights causation vs. correlation in order to keep the research honest and accurate.
Collins’ book will not only excite you in your own music teaching, but will give you the tools to better communicate the advantages of music learning to others. This is a huge win for me, as I find that putting my knowledge into words that will engage and encourage my studio parents can be one of the harder parts of teaching.
Collins doesn’t sugarcoat the music learning experience, and she uses real students and stories to make the case for music in each season of a child’s development. She puts high value on the frustration and resilience techniques students develop when learning an instrument. She offers excellent responses when discussing a student quitting music with their parents. She gives important cues to look for in a child’s development that could be better understood or even problem-solved through music learning.
I could go on all day, but I encourage you to grab your own copy. It’s a book well worth having on the shelf, and will equip, excite, and propel you forward in this year of teaching 🙂
Anita Collins has also provided this fun video that is a fantastic resource to share with your studio families!
For this month’s student choice, I present you with resources to get the youngest musicians in your life familiar with various musical genres 🙂 The engaging pictures and rhyming words make these a favorite to introduce in the studio or gift to little ones!
Check out a mom’s review below.