By Mihai Preda, PhD and Leidys Monascal, MS
Creativity now is as important in education as literacy. Sir Ken Robinson
We live in an age of unprecedented technological change. At this rapid and accelerating rate, we can hardly imagine the skills that children who are in school today will need to possess 10 to 15 years from now. In such a world, creativity (“the ability to come up with original ideas of value” Sir Ken Robinson) will be of paramount importance.
The cognitive, emotional, and psychosocial benefits of music education in children are well documented. Music is also an ideal medium in which children can be creative, improvising and composing their own songs. When taught in a cross-disciplinary way, music education also improves quantitative and problem-solving skills. Music gives our brain a complete workout (see Daniel Levitin “This is Your Brain on Music”.)
Yet at a time when the benefits of music education become clearer, budget cuts and the ever-increasing pressure of standardized tests lead our public schools to consider reducing or eliminating music programs from their curricula.
For students and parents considering starting or continuing music classes, the summer offers an extraordinary opportunity. It is a time when rapid, substantial progress is possible. Unlike the rest of the school year, when children’s time and energy is spent almost entirely at school and with homework, the two and a half months of summer are a time children can use to gain proficiency on the piano.
During the summer, children are well rested, and in better shape to learn. Without having to worry about homework, they can fully engage in the learning process. The relaxed summer schedule allows them to practice daily, and with it comes the excitement of witnessing their own progress, thus motivating them to excel.
The Miami Piano Studio continues offering piano lessons during the summer. The abilities and concepts acquired with the Brain-Based Piano Method through fun, creative and engaging activities will serve children well during the summer and in the future.
Robinson, K. (2011). Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative. New York: Capstone.
Levitin, D. (2006). This is your Brain on Music: The Science of o Human Obsession. New York: Penguin.