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What if every child had access to music education from birth?

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Anita Collins shares how learning music influences our brain development, and what this means for musical education. 
Anita Collins was handed a clarinet at the age of 9, and it changed her life. This single event dictated her future career as a musician, music educator and academic.
Recent posts

Virtually Relearning Everything About Teaching During COVID-19

My apologies for the lag in blog posts!  As of writing this post, we have been in COVID-19 quarantine lockdown for about five weeks.  I find the memes and jokes about suddenly finding all this time on your hands hilarious but they don't exactly ring true if you have young children.

While there have been quiet moments for me, I haven't felt the willpower to write anything.  Writing--even if it's nonfiction--requires a certain amount of "creative juice" and I found that I just didn't have that in me at first.  Too many things were changing.  Too many little stresses added up to make me prefer relaxation over creativity.

So many online teaching resources suddenly exploded into existence when the lockdowns started.  It's been absolutely amazing to watch happen.  Many teachers that were suddenly bursting with creative juices when presented with this new challenge of 100% online lessons.  I think that has been a wonderful balance for teachers like me that would …

Suzuki Early Childhood Education Skills

Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) can best be described as a "musical readiness" class.  While parent-child bonding certainly takes place, the goals differ from a typical "mommy and me" style of class.  Each activity is designed to not only develop life skills but to also prepare the child for lessons on a musical instrument.

As an example, each class begins with ball rolling.  Music is played softly in the background while the children take turns rolling the ball to each other with parental help when necessary.  This is such a simple activity that, on the surface, could be seen as just a social icebreaker--not that these are ever bad to practice!

But on a deeper level consider all the skills a child must develop just to pass that ball casually around the circle:

-Waiting your turn
-Hand/eye coordination
-Responding appropriately when music is cued (ball passing stops when music stops)
-Intense focus during a prescribed period of time (pass the ball during mu…

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Quick (but informative!) summary/review of The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.  Link to read the full book here.

Is My Baby Too Young for Baby Music Class?

This is a question that often gets asked or, more commonly, "My baby can't even walk yet!  What could he possibly get out of a music class?  Shouldn't we wait until he can do more things?"

The short answer: the earlier you start, the better!

The long answer:

While the nature of this question is completely understandable, it is flawed logic.  It would be like asking, "Well, shouldn't we wait before she can read more words before reading books?" or "Shouldn't we wait until he can take more steps before we can try walking?"

I make this point not to sound snarky.  As I said, it is completely understandable why parents should ask this question.  You paid money for the music class and all your child is doing is sitting there, or maybe even crying through the whole session!  My point is to underscore the fact that children--especially babies--learn by observing and then by doing.  Presenting the book to the child and letting her flip the pages...…

Muscle Mechanics for String Players

I am pleased to announce that my latest short ebook manual is now live and available for purchase!

Muscle Mechanics for String Players: Achieving Proper Control While Playing a Stringed Instrument is a brief overview of muscle function and how these functions apply to a musician's body. Includes suggestions--with pictures--for stretches that will help prevent musical injuries.

This work was a collaborative effort with Dr. Mark Gomez. Dr. Gomez is an expert in the field of biomechanics. He started working in the field in 1977 and has conducted extensive research, published books and given lectures and seminars in the area of biomechanics.
This booklet is up for sale at most major ebook retailers.  Amazon link here.