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#20267 - 08/31/05 08:31 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
Amily Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 03/26/01
Posts: 547
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lilla:
One of the things we need to do is to make the parents and students *want* piano lessons
This is what I'm talking about. The "Big Deal" I'm referring to is all of us piano teachers always getting together to whine about how the rest of the world thinks we aren't worth their time, we're not cool, etc., but whining doesn't get us anything but a pity party. We need to vamp up our businesses if we want to keep our jobs. It is a business, but that doesn't mean we should assume it will always be like it was twenty years ago, or a hundred years ago. Times change, people change, we have to change with them.

Any business faces the prospect of losing customers, no one is immune to that. We can "toughen up" like I already said, or we can complain about it while we lose our students.

If we make the choice a difficult one to make, we might find more students choosing to stick with piano over sports or in addition to sports. As it is, most students find dropping piano an easy decision. That's our problem. Not the coaches.

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#20268 - 08/31/05 10:04 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
pat Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 52
Loc: Bridgeport, Texas
Amily, you bring up another interesting point about "as it is, most students find dropping piano an easy decision". The same thing exists in our school with band. Every few years, hoards of kids quit (don't like the band director), (don't want to march in the high school band) - leaving the band directors with huge gaps in their program after they have spent so much time teaching, parents getting instruments, etc.

And they can and do this. Seldom do kids quit sports for music. Seldom do they quit sports at all for any reason, because if they do, they will be penalized. This was the situation with my student who had to give up piano.

And I could have changed my schedule to accommodate her, but if that precedent got around, I'd be jumping hoops for everybody. For me that would be unprofessional. My schedule is important too.

Someone mentioned promoting our students through newspapers, etc. This is great. It keeps the "beat" going for their accomplishments in music and gives the public a sense that music is important.

And a funny thing happened the other day. I got a call from a basketball coach telling me she intended to get back to the piano when she retired.

Hey, that's one smart coach!

Hooray for music!

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#20269 - 08/31/05 11:04 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
This thread is so pertinent and all the comments are so right on.

This fall I feel like I'm hanging on by a thread with my studio. All but 2 are in HS and the majority are heavily involved in competetive sports. Some are even on traveling club teams beyond just the HS teams. I have been watching many of my most promising students who were quick to place their piano study on a high priority, take an about face this year with weighted classes w heavy homework loads, sports practice & games, and pressure to produce accademically & athletically for scholarships. It's nuts.

Nine of my students have moved to the recreational course I offer, and these were students who eagerly participated in & did great at local/state music contests and recitals.

Even my own son (sophomore), a serious soccer player looking for scholarship opportunities to play for div. 2 schools down the road. He has either practice or games every day of the week plus several Sat. games. His practices run from 3:30-5:30. He gets home near 6; showers & eats, then hits the books. He's got ADHD and his meds are DONE by 7:30 pm. As his mom (and teacher), do I demand he practice after all this? He goes to choir at 7 am, and marching band practice takes the place right now of his study hall.

We haven't started Fall lessons yet, but I'll be happy if he can make it to the piano (w eyes open and some sense of focus) 3 times a week. And those times will probably be closer to 15 min. than the recommended 45. How do I fight this? I don't think we can fight this.

I'm having to readjust my approach to teaching this fall. More empathy, understanding, and relaxing my expectancies. It makes me sad, because I feel some of the kids are hanging on by a thread, and I don't want them to feel forced to cut that thread. And I know that if forced to drop something, it will no doubt be piano. \:\(

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#20270 - 09/01/05 03:37 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Lilla:
One of the things we need to do is to make the parents and students *want* piano lessons by instilling a sense of accomplishment and pride. We need to brainstorm on how to best do this. Something new and innovative and *today*. What is going to make your student want to excell at a piano recital versus hitting a homerun at the baseball championship?
Any and all suggestions would be welcome. How do we accomplish this?
Lilla, you are right where I am, in longing for a "revival" in today's society that would elevate the status of musicians (other than rock stars!) and the appreciation of musical skill. I think people don't think about the big picture in terms of which activities will truly enhance their lives in the long run.

When I look at the long-term picture, I know that the ability to play piano (or other instrument) is something people can enjoy their entire lives. I fondly remember my grandfather playing piano pieces for me on the piano of his retirement home. Maybe piano doesn't seem as awesome or cool as sports to a teenager, but how many people middle-aged and beyond continue to find daily enjoyment from football, gymnastics, soccer, etc?

And my "big thing" right now is learning as much as I can about the research linking music study to improved brain function and academic performance. I know the "jury's still out" and more research needs to be done, but do you think that most people have a clue about this? Do you personally think the implications of the research are credible? For example, here are some snippets of statistics I've found various places:

The world’s top three nations of academic excellence have mandatory music requirements for their students. Hungary, one of the poorest nations of the world, ranks highest in academic excellence. Every child in Hungary has mandatory music requirements for kindergarten through ninth grade. The first four hours of every day in Hungary are set aside for music study, orchestra and choir. In the afternoon, when students study math, language, and history, they are able to achieve high academic grades, because their brain has been formatted for orderly storage and retrieval of information.
***

Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests.
***

University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts.
Source: University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent
***

High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts.
Source: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001.
***

The world's top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States' focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology.
Source: 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test
***

Music training helps under-achievers. In Rhode Island, researchers studied eight public school first grade classes. Half of the classes became "test arts" groups, receiving ongoing music and visual arts training. In kindergarten, this group had lagged behind in scholastic performance. After seven months, the students were given a standardized test. The "test arts" group had caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22 percent. In the second year of the project, the arts students widened this margin even further. Students were also evaluated on attitude and behavior. Classroom teachers noted improvement in these areas also.
Source: Nature May 23, 1996
***

A comprehensive series of skill tests were run on 5,154 fifth graders in all 75 of the Albuquerque, NM elementary schools. In EVERY SINGLE TEST AREA, kids who were learning to play a musical instrument received higher marks than their classmates. And, the longer the school children had been in the instrumental programs, the higher they scored.
***

And here is a website with a very interesting article:

http://www.matra88.homestead.com/files/GymboMusic_Literatur_Pendukung.htm
***

I find myself thinking that if parents realized the extent of music's benefits, they'd be beating down our doors for lessons, schools wouldn't DREAM of cutting music budgets, and parents would view sports as a fine but relatively trivial amusement---compared to the significant potential that music has to improve their children's lives in the long run.

(stepping down from my soapbox now)
pianoannie

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#20271 - 09/01/05 03:50 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
pianoannie,

Wow, these stats are amazing! Why in the world are we not hearing more about this? I'm going to copy & print all that you included and work it into a flier to pass on to my students & parents. Thanks for sharing.

hummmmm...I wonder if sports has the same effect????? \:D

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#20272 - 09/01/05 04:12 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
GeeTee Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 12/26/01
Posts: 391
Loc: Midwest
Another interesting aspect of this discussion was brought up by my husband with whom I shared much of what's been posted...

As I mentioned before, he's a sports ref, has also coached many a team from T-ball age up thru middle school. He's also a parent of serious athlete.

He commented on how "ideally" coaches (and teachers as ourselves) are really, or should be, in the business of helping to develop character in the young people we work with. The sport or instrument is simply the vehicle to achieve that objective. Unfortunately, not much positive character development seems to be taking place on the courts & fields today. He tells me that the unsportsmanlike conduct is out of control (both w/in the team and in the stands); the language spewed among players, coaches, and fans is horrible. Drug & alcohal use is rampant among many athletes (just watch the news), and the list could go on.

Of course there are exceptions (thank God), but just what kind of character is being developed here?

Now, in regards to our profession and the degree of empathy and caring shown toward our students (as expressed here at this site for example), shows something quite different. How many of us, in reaction to a student's mistakes have reacted with "What the h*%# are you doing?" My son hears this daily from one of his coaches. Or if a student hasn't practiced the expected 5 days a week, do we say "That'll be 100 extra scales today before we get to the lesson. Oh, and you won't be able to play in the recital Sat."?

Personally, I think our society has allowed the sports industry to "get away" with murder these days. I think too because sports are a big money maker (for schools & communities), where as the arts are not so much. Maybe if we sold tickets to our recitals and offered concessions for sale...?? :p

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#20273 - 09/01/05 04:27 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
Christina Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 402
Loc: Canada
pianoannie, that is some great info! i, too, wish more people heard more about this. i remember in a university class, our prof was telling us about a study that when students listen to mozart while they study, they have better recall when they write their exam. i always found that really interesting.

that stat about schools in hungary is particularly impressive.
_________________________
"Laughter is the shortest distance between two friends" - Victor Borge

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#20274 - 09/01/05 04:40 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
pat Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 52
Loc: Bridgeport, Texas
GeeTee, that was a great post!.....I almost considered once putting up one of those portable basketball nets in front of the church to see if I could get more people to attend a student recital.

Of course, joking here. Wouldn't we all faint if we walked into our recital halls and they were jam packed with "music enthusiasts"?

Of course, we know that sports activities are short term and what we do as teachers is long term. Many parents who give their kids lessons know this too, but they are just pressured to the limit for their kids to make those practices.

Someone posted some good information on the benefits of music study on intelligence. I am going to print out some of this and include a nice cover letter (I'll refrain from my anger!)......and send it to the President of our local school board.

We just must keep the music "faith!

Pat

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#20275 - 09/01/05 04:52 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
alidoremi Offline
Star Member

Registered: 03/11/02
Posts: 2120
Loc: California
I'm cutting/pasting some more info and stats that may be of interest to you. Pardon me if some of these were duplicated in an earlier post. I like to pick one of these every so often and discuss it with parents either in piano class or through a newsletter, or in my brochures when I'm enrolling for new classes.

By the way, I'm finding an increasing number of parents wanting to enroll their kids in music lessons at a younger and younger age, all because of the latest findings that parents have heard about. I'll have about 60-70 new toddlers/preschoolers start music class in another week. The word is definitely getting out that music is good for kids!


Did You Know?
Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts.

Source: University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball; East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent


Did You Know?
Students who were exposed to the music-based lessons scored a full 100 percent higher on fractions tests than those who learned in the conventional manner. Second-grade and third-grade students were taught fractions in an untraditional manner ‹ by teaching them basic music rhythm notation. The group was taught about the relationships between eighth, quarter, half and whole notes. Their peers received traditional fraction instruction.

Source: Neurological Research, March 15, 1999


Did You Know?
Music majors are the most likely group of college grads to be admitted to medical school. Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66 percent of music majors who applied to med school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. For comparison, (44 percent) of biochemistry majors were admitted. Also, a study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math.

Sources: “The Comparative Academic Abilities of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University,” Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480

“The Case for Music in the Schools,” Phi Delta Kappan, February, 1994


Did You Know?
Music study can help kids understand advanced music concepts. A grasp of proportional math and fractions is a prerequisite to math at higher levels, and children who do not master these areas cannot understand more advanced math critical to high-tech fields. Music involves ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. Second-grade students were given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time using newly designed math software. The group scored over 27 percent higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who used only the math software.

Source: Neurological Research March, 1999


Did You Know?
Research shows that piano students are better equipped to comprehend mathematical and scientific concepts. A group of preschoolers received private piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received private computer lessons. Those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34 percent higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than the others ‹ even those who received computer training. “Spatial-temporal” is basically proportional reasoning – ratios, fractions, proportions and thinking in space and time. This concept has long been considered a major obstacle in the teaching of elementary math and science.

Source: Neurological Research February 28, 1997


Did You Know?
Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically in early school years. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation.
Source: “The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children,” University of Central Florida, Debby MitchellDid You Know?
High school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts.

Source: Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators National Conference, 2001.


Did You Know?
College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts. A study conducted at the University of Texas looked at 362 students who were in their first semester of college. They were given three tests, measuring performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol related problems. In addition to having fewer battles with the bottle, researchers also noted that the college-aged music students seemed to have surer footing when facing tests.

Source: Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998


Did You Know?
A ten-year study, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement. The test scores studied were not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also in reading proficiency exams.

Source: Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997


Did You Know?
The world's top academic countries place a high value on music education. Hungary, Netherlands and Japan stand atop worldwide science achievement and have strong commitment to music education. All three countries have required music training at the elementary and middle school levels, both instrumental and vocal, for several decades. The centrality of music education to learning in the top-ranked countries seems to contradict the United States' focus on math, science, vocabulary, and technology.

Source: 1988 International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IAEEA) Test


Did You Know?
Music training helps under-achievers. In Rhode Island, researchers studied eight public school first grade classes. Half of the classes became “test arts” groups, receiving ongoing music and visual arts training. In kindergarten, this group had lagged behind in scholastic performance. After seven months, the students were given a standardized test. The “test arts” group had caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22 percent. In the second year of the project, the arts students widened this margin even further. Students were also evaluated on attitude and behavior. Classroom teachers noted improvement in these areas also.

Source: Nature May 23, 1996


Did you know?
Rhythm Students learn fractions better. After learning eighth, quarter, half and whole notes, second and third graders scored 100% higher than their peers who were taught fractions using traditional methods.

Source: Neurological Research, March 15 1999


Did you know?
Second graders do sixth grade math. Second grade students who were given four months of pinao keyboard training, as well as time using math puzzle software, scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who received no special instruction. They were also able to solve proportional math problems at a 6th grade level.

Source: Keeping Mozart in Mind, Academic Press


Did you know?
Music Make the Brain Grow. Childhood music lessons actually enlarge portions of the brain. German researchers found that the brain area used to analyze musical pitch is an average of 25% larger in musicians. The younger the musical training begins, the larger the area.

Source: Nature, April 23, 1998


Did you know?
Music Students Score Higher on SAT’s. College-bound seniors with school music experience scored 57 points higher on the verbal potion and 41 points higher in math than those without arts instruction.

Source: Profiles of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, 2001


Did you know?
Piano raises conceptual math scores. U. of California, Irvine found that after six months of piano lessons, preschoolers performed 34% higher on spatial-temporal testing than those who received no training and those who received computer training.

Source: Neurological Research, February 28, 1997

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#20276 - 09/01/05 04:59 AM Re: Juggling Piano with Sports activities
pianoannie Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 07/20/01
Posts: 946
Loc: midwest USA
GeeTee, what you said about sports and character development was excellent. I didn't include them in my previous post, but I also have study results on exactly the kinds of things you mention--compassion, community service, etc and how those traits are more common among music students.

I'm not being critical, but I was surprised that this info was unfamiliar to some of you. Like you said, "Why aren't people hearing about this?!" And that is exactly what I am doing my little part to remedy. I am doing more and more volunteer work in the community (libraries, moms groups, schools, festivals), and I always have printed information for people to take with them, with the kinds of stats like I posted above. It's high time people become aware of how enhancing music is to our lives, beyond the obvious fun, beauty, joy, emotion, etc that music provides.

I'm going to compile a list of some of the websites I've found helpful regarding music/brain/research etc in case some of you would like to read more. I'll post it later this morning if I have time (otherwise, tomorrow).

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