The New York Times on the Benefit of Music Education

Two recent articles in the New York Times highlight the remarkable benefits of musical training.

The first, “Is Music the Key to Success?” (full article here), describes the sometimes surprising correlations between music education and outsized success in other, seemingly unrelated fields. Although the examples are anecdotal (who knew Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, was also a professional clarinet and saxophone player?), it’s fascinating to find that so many musically trained people credit the enriching effects of their own music educations, claiming that it has sharpened their “collaboration, creativity, discipline and capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas.”

A second piece, titled “Long-Term Benefits of Music Lessons” (article here), picks up on a recent studies that show the neurological benefits of childhood music lessons. Neuroscientist and study author Nina Kraus gives us this winning quote: “Our general thinking about music education is that it is for our children,” she said. “But in fact we are setting up our children for healthy aging based on what we are able to provide them with now.”

Promotion for New Students

This is my 13th year of teaching group music classes in Bloor West, and my 10th year of teaching under the Sugar Beat name! Over the years, I’ve seen many students grow, change, and develop their love of music (and some have even found their way into my piano studio). But it’s time once again to welcome new faces, which is why I’m happy to offer a first-session discount for students who’ve never taken a Sugar Beat class before.

Simply add the promotion code FALL-2013-SBM4C next to the “Have you attended Sugar Beat classes in the past?” question in the registration form  (available in Microsoft Word format or Acrobat PDF format), and deduct $15 from the class fee. This offer applies to group music classes and Piano Orff Experience classes.

I look forward to meeting you in September!

Welcome Baby Aisha!

Baby AishaSugar Beat welcomes its newest member, baby Aisha Sky MacDonald, born on May 9, 2013 weighing 7 pounds 8 ounces. Her older sisters, Maya and Brenna, are thrilled as are we.

Aisha is thriving and is eager to join her music friends in our infant music class starting this Fall on Thursday mornings. Only 7 weeks old and she is already enjoying when I practice my material on her. Do you have a new baby ready for music classes in the Fall? Email me at faria@sugarbeat.ca with your questions!

New Baby – No Session Until Fall

Sugar Beat is skipping its spring term this year, as I’m welcoming a new baby (girl #3) in early May. The next session is the fall session, which starts in September. Registration for the fall session opens in June, so check back then for more information about dates and times (or call or email with questions). Also, look for our special newborn class, which will take place weekday mornings in the Fall!

To my existing students–it’s been a great year and I have so enjoyed your participation in our fall and winter terms. The Christmas recital was stellar, as always, and the Orff classes have progressed so much! I hope to have some examples of our musical work from the Orff open class posted on the videos page later in the summer, so please stop by again.

Piano Recital – A Video Clip

Sharing music with one’s peers is a vital part of piano instruction. When our students perform in one of our two yearly piano recitals, we record the whole concert and provide each student with a copy on DVD so they can review their performance (or just enjoy the memory). Here’s a brief clip of two recent performers that have agreed to share their playing.

Kiwanis Festival 2013

Congratulations to all those students who competed at the Kiwanis Festival of Music this year. I am so pleased and proud of you all. From the sounds of it, you all came away with great information and wonderful memories. I hope we will have at least as many of you performing again next year. A special mention goes to my student Adam Leung, who placed FIRST in both of his classes this year, and first overall for Grade 4 Sonatinas. Congratulations, Adam!