By Kristina Nakagawa, Artistic Director, Resounding Achord
An article (“Trained Musicians Make Better Decisions” by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard) was sent to me by a Resounding Achord alum, and it couldn’t be more perfect for this week. Here at Resounding Achord Productions, we are gearing up for our first-ever fundraiser on October 7. All funds raised from this variety-show-style evening will go directly to our high school regional and all-state honor choir scholarship outreach programs. The event will include performances from past scholarship recipients, along with current singers and friends of Resounding Achord. For more information, visit us here: A Musicale Fundraiser.
Many parents and teachers are well aware of the benefits of music training for children. This study from a team at the University of Texas-Austin suggests that families might consider holding off on music training until later in childhood, due to the development process of the brain’s prefrontal cortex. The study also theorizes that “The music classes offered during many children’s elementary and high-school education in America may result in improved decision-making ability as an adult.”
Personally, I believe that children and students of all ages should be exposed to and experience music firsthand. They should play in music, they should listen to music, they should live in music. As a parent, I resonate with the suggestion to not start more technical or “serious” musical training until the child is ready, or even until they ask for it! Anyone who was ever forced to practice their musical skills when they were young would likely tell you the same. However, these same people will also tell you the regret they feel that they didn’t continue with their music practice. Perhaps by waiting for instruction until age 8 or later, we can keep and preserve the joy of music throughout our lives?
The good news: many of the students in our musical outreach programs are just starting their journeys as musicians. I can only hope that by supporting them through our scholarship outreach program that we are helping to create the most advanced critical thinkers and problem solvers of the future. We are surely going to need their help.