It is hard for me to see music education going by the wayside.  Once an important part of a child’s education, music is now considered a frill to be sandwiched in between soccer and gymnastics.  There seems to be a steady decline in children’s exposure to music lessons, yet music education in children has such unlimited and surprising benefits.

Music is one of the few activities that require both sides of the brain.  It requires logic, it makes sense, it is analytical and is closely related to math. It is also spiritual and emotional.  It allows the expression of feelings and passion.  It inspires creativity and provides kids with an avenue for expression.

It is a place to go when you are happy or sad, when you need company or want to be alone. “It can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose such as TV or web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another.” says Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians.

It is constant learning and teaches discipline.  Exposing children to a musical instrument provides an opportunity to learn something new every day.  There is an endless supply of genres and styles of music to explore.  The avenue to learning this music is through practicing regularly.  The devotion to weekly lessons and the discipline to practice every day teaches and hones qualities that children are not required to use in our fast paced, instant gratification, modern world.  Music gives them the opportunity to master something that looks impossible.

Music builds confidence and fosters team building   When playing in an ensemble class, students are working as a team.  They learn to relate to each other, to listen to each other, they learn leadership skills and gain confidence.  A shy child suddenly finds a place to lead her peers through a difficult piece, a child will assist a classmate through a music theory assignment, or a group of children will find a way to blend their talents and create a beautiful product.

It improves memory and increases brainpower.  Participation in music can help memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development.  This improves the capability of not only memorizing a new musical piece, but also memorizing algebra and dates important in American history class. The College-Bound Seniors National Report concluded that “Students taking courses in music performance and music appreciation scored higher in the SAT than students with no arts participation.” and Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennies and Newcomb studied long term enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning and concluded that “Research made between music and intelligence concluded that music training is far greater than computer instruction in improving children’s abstract reasoning skills.”

But, most importantly, it is a life skill.  There will come a time when you won’t be able to run up and down the length of a soccer field or basketball court, but you will always be able to sit down at the piano, pick up your violin or guitar or sing a beautiful song.

By Tamriko Siprashvili

As a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Tamriko Siprashvili has outstanding credentials with nearly 30 years teaching experience including advanced conservatory education in music pedagogy.  In 1985 she took first place in the prestigious Robert Schumann International Piano Competition and has performed extensively throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union as an internationally acclaimed pianist.

Siprashvili and the Inspire Academy of Music and Arts faculty have a passionate desire to share their talent in the community.  Classes include Piano, Violin, Viola, Guitar, Voice, AP Music Theory, “Little Mozart” piano program, Tots & Tykes, Audition instruction and the Royal Conservatory Performance Program .  Private and Ensemble classes are both available.  All music styles including classical, popular and jazz are incorporated into lessons or can be emphasized.  To learn more about Inspire Academy of Music and Arts, 3240 Santa Rita Rd, Suite 7, Pleasanton, visit their website at inspiremusicacademy.com, or call 925-461-3266.  All of the teachers are happy to meet with you to give you a tour of the academy and answer any questions about the curriculum.