The #1 Choice, Best Value, & LARGEST Music School In Hendersonville, North Carolina!
The Music Academy of WNC offers the most comprehensive and largest variety of music lessons than any other music school in Henderson County. Our faculty is the most educated and experienced in all of Western North Carolina with over 73% (8 out of 11) holding a Master’s degree or greater in their field of study. All of our music lessons incorporate classical-based musicianship and technique within the style(s) our students wish to learn. Plus, they are LOTS OF FUN! We currently offers private music lessons in the following:
Give us a call at 828-693-3726 to schedule your FREE Consultation to discuss your musical direction at Hendersonville’s #1 Choice, Best Value, and LARGEST Music School.
The Music Academy of WNC is excited to announce our new business relationship with Freeburg Pianos in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Freeburg Pianos has furnished the Music Academy with a brand new Perzina upright piano for our teaching studios. “We are pleased to have Freeburg Pianos and Perzina represented at the Music Academy of WNC” states Music Academy Director, Michael Ridenour. Please visit Freeburg Pianos on Asheville Highway in Hendersonville if you are considering an upright or grand piano purchase.
THE BEATLES MAKE LIVE US DEBUT: On this day in music, February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their US live debut on CBS-TV’s ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ They performed five songs including their current No.1 ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand.’ The show was watched by an estimated 73 million people and had received over 50,000 applications for the 728 seats in the TV studio.
Happy Birthday: Carole King and Dennis Thomas.
The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition will be held this afternoon at Blue Ridge Community College. We would like to wish two of our Music Academy string students, Joah Bickley (violin) and Daphne Bickley (viola), the best of luck in today’s competition. We are very proud of your musical accomplishments.
By Laura Lewis Brown – Original Article Appears HERE
Whether your child is the next Beyonce or more likely to sing her solos in the shower, she is bound to benefit from some form of music education. Research shows that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.
More Than Just Music
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.
Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles, says Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of Music Together, an early childhood music development program for infants through kindergarteners that involves parents or caregivers in the classes.
“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you smarter, but it’s a very integrating, stimulating pastime or activity,” Guilmartin says.
“When you look at children ages two to nine, one of the breakthroughs in that area is music’s benefit for language development, which is so important at that stage,” says Luehrisen. While children come into the world ready to decode sounds and words, music education helps enhance those natural abilities. “Growing up in a musically rich environment is often advantageous for children’s language development,” she says. But Luehrisen adds that those inborn capacities need to be “reinforced, practiced, celebrated,” which can be done at home or in a more formal music education setting.
According to the Children’s Music Workshop, the effect of music education on language development can be seen in the brain. “Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds,” the group claims.
This relationship between music and language development is also socially advantageous to young children. “The development of language over time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music,” says Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a practicing musician. “Language competence is at the root of social competence. Musical experience strengthens the capacity to be verbally competent.”
A study by E. Glenn Schellenberg at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, as published in a 2004 issue of Psychological Science, found a small increase in the IQs of six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons. Schellenberg provided nine months of piano and voice lessons to a dozen six-year-olds, drama lessons (to see if exposure to arts in general versus just music had an effect) to a second group of six-year-olds, and no lessons to a third group. The children’s IQs were tested before entering the first grade, then again before entering the second grade.
Surprisingly, the children who were given music lessons over the school year tested on average three IQ points higher than the other groups. The drama group didn’t have the same increase in IQ, but did experience increased social behavior benefits not seen in the music-only group.
The Brain Works Harder
Research indicates the brain of a musician, even a young one, works differently than that of a nonmusician. “There’s some good neuroscience research that children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training. When you’re a musician and you’re playing an instrument, you have to be using more of your brain,” says Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a specialized music curriculum for children aged two months to nine years.
In fact, a study led by Ellen Winner, professor of psychology at Boston College, and Gottfried Schlaug, professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, found changes in the brain images of children who underwent 15 months of weekly music instruction and practice. The students in the study who received music instruction had improved sound discrimination and fine motor tasks, and brain imaging showed changes to the networks in the brain associated with those abilities, according to the Dana Foundation, a private philanthropic organization that supports brain research.
Research has also found a causal link between music and spatial intelligence, which means that understanding music can help children visualize various elements that should go together, like they would do when solving a math problem.
“We have some pretty good data that music instruction does reliably improve spatial-temporal skills in children over time,” explains Pruett, who helped found the Performing Arts Medicine Association. These skills come into play in solving multistep problems one would encounter in architecture, engineering, math, art, gaming, and especially working with computers.
Improved Test Scores
A study published in 2007 by Christopher Johnson, professor of music education and music therapy at the University of Kansas, revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs, regardless of socioeconomic disparities among the schools or school districts. Johnson compares the concentration that music training requires to the focus needed to perform well on a standardized test.
Aside from test score results, Johnson’s study highlights the positive effects that a quality music education can have on a young child’s success. Luehrisen explains this psychological phenomenon in two sentences: “Schools that have rigorous programs and high-quality music and arts teachers probably have high-quality teachers in other areas. If you have an environment where there are a lot of people doing creative, smart, great things, joyful things, even people who aren’t doing that have a tendency to go up and do better.”
And it doesn’t end there: along with better performance results on concentration-based tasks, music training can help with basic memory recall. “Formal training in music is also associated with other cognitive strengths such as verbal recall proficiency,” Pruett says. “People who have had formal musical training tend to be pretty good at remembering verbal information stored in memory.”
Music can improve your child’ abilities in learning and other nonmusic tasks, but it’s important to understand that music does not make one smarter. As Pruett explains, the many intrinsic benefits to music education include being disciplined, learning a skill, being part of the music world, managing performance, being part of something you can be proud of, and even struggling with a less than perfect teacher.
“It’s important not to oversell how smart music can make you,” Pruett says. “Music makes your kid interesting and happy, and smart will come later. It enriches his or her appetite for things that bring you pleasure and for the friends you meet.”
While parents may hope that enrolling their child in a music program will make her a better student, the primary reasons to provide your child with a musical education should be to help them become more musical, to appreciate all aspects of music, and to respect the process of learning an instrument or learning to sing, which is valuable on its own merit.
“There is a massive benefit from being musical that we don’t understand, but it’s individual. Music is for music’s sake,” Rasmussen says. “The benefit of music education for me is about being musical. It gives you have a better understanding of yourself. The horizons are higher when you are involved in music,” he adds. “Your understanding of art and the world, and how you can think and express yourself, are enhanced.”
Give the Music Academy of WNC a call at 828-693-3726 to set up your FREE Consultation and discuss your musical direction.
THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED: On this day, February 3rd, in 1959, 22 year old Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, age 17, died in a crash shortly after take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa, The pilot of the single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza plane was also killed. Holly hired the plane after heating problems developed on his tour bus. All three were traveling to Fargo, North Dakota for the next show on their Winter Dance Party Tour which Holly had set – covering 24 cities in three weeks, to make money after the break-up of his band, The Crickets, the previous year.
Happy Birthday: Richie Kotzen, Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane, Dave Davies, and Dennis Edwards.
The Music Academy of WNC, located at 235 Duncan Hill Road in Hendersonville, North Carolina, is offering a guitar workshop for intermediate and advanced guitar players entitled “Unlocking the Diatonic Modes” on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. Class size is limited so register online at HERE or call 828-693-3726. See class description below for more information.
“Unlocking the Diatonic Modes” Guitar Workshop (Intermediate to Advanced Guitar Players). This workshop is for intermediate to advanced guitar players and will cover the seven diatonic modes and their applications over chords and common progressions. Workshop topics include: the seven diatonic left-hand patterns; modal identification over various chords and progressions; modal patterns across the entire fretboard; modal theory; fretboard theory; and MUCH MORE! The workshop will meet on Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 9:00 AM — 12:00 Noon. Workshop is taught by Mike Ridenour (M.M. Guitar Performance). Workshop materials are included in tuition price. Tuition: $30.00.
Parents who give their children the gift of a musical education start them out on a path that will enrich their lives in so many ways. Studying music develops discipline, hand-eye coordination, intelligence, and creates a skill that can bring happiness to both the performer and to all who listen. According to a recent article in the LA Times, 6-year-olds who received keyboard instruction had more brain growth and better fine motor skills than their peers. Piano lessons are such a great thing, why not get started as soon as possible?
IS IT EVER TOO EARLY?
It is true that you can find videos on YouTube of three-year-olds playing Mozart, but that doesn’t mean that a three-year-old who likes plunking on the piano keys should be signed up for lessons. Children under the age of five who show an interest in the piano should be allowed to explore and learn on their own time table. They probably won’t respond well to an adult-imposed learning structure. Instead, parents of children under age five should be doing things to cultivate a general interest in music. Singing, dancing, listening to recorded music, and enrolling in a good preschool music program will allow a child to have fun exploring music and prepare for studying an instrument when the time is right.
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR READINESS
The best time to start piano lessons will be different for every child, but most will be ready between the ages of 5 1/2 to 8 years old. Here is a short checklist of things a child needs to get a good start as a piano student:
1. SIZE OF HAND
A child who is taking piano lessons should be comfortable placing five fingers on five adjacent white keys. For some five-year old childern, that’s a big stretch! Before beginning piano lessons, make sure your child’s hands have grown enough to be comfortable using a keyboard.
2. FINGER INDEPENDENCE
A child who is taking piano lessons needs to be able to move individual fingers. A child who can only play by picking out the tune with one finger is probably not ready.
3. INTEREST IN MUSIC AND DESIRE TO LEARN
At any age, motivation is an important factor of readiness. If a child does not want to take piano lessons then the parent should instead spend time cultivating interest in music.
A WORD ABOUT READING
Piano students who use a book based method may do better if they begin at age seven or eight, after they are beginning to read words with more fluency. Students who begin with an ear-based method, such as the Suzuki Method or the Hoffman Method, can start earlier at age five or six.
IS IT EVER TOO LATE?
Piano students can start lessons after age eight and all the way up to adult, but it is true that there are some advantages to starting earlier. For one thing, children who are eight or younger have more supple hands. Older children who have never studied an instrument, and even adult learners, often have to deal with more finger awkwardness. This can be overcome with desire and practice, but it will take more effort. There are also studies showing that young children can learn complex brain skills like languages more easily than older children and adults because their brains are still developing. These years are really a window of opportunity to develop musical intelligence. Older students can learn too, it will just take more effort.
Another reason it is easier for younger children to start piano lessons is the amount of available time they have to practice. Older kids and teenagers usually fill up their lives with other interests. A child who starts in first grade and gets in six years of piano by middle school is more likely to be advanced enough to want to stick with it even as life gets busier.
So what is the best age to begin piano lessons? For a child who meets all the requirements of hand size, finger independence, and desire, the answer is, as soon as possible! Take advantage of the opportunity to immerse your young child’s mind in the language of music. If those prime years of opportunity have already passed, it is never too late for a child with a real desire to learn. Studying music at any age is good for body, mind, and spirit, and something to enjoy for a lifetime.
Give us a call at the Music Academy of WNC to schedule your FREE Consultation for piano lessons at 828-693-3726.