Why Should We Learn About Music?
Trying to convince someone to do something they don’t want to do is often a difficult task to say the least. People (and children) differ greatly in terms of what kind of motivation they need to work hard (or work at all). Some react well to being pushed relentlessly, while others need coaxing and encouragement to even pick up the instrument. Whatever kind of person you are makes no difference to what is needed to get better. The magical word…Practice!
Firstly, one could ask why we should learn about music at all! Well, studies have shown that learning an instrument provides cognitive, emotional and physical benefits that many other activities don’t do. Neuropsychologist Professor Dr. Daniel Levitin says that “playing and learning about music activates more parts of the brain than any other activity we know” (My Music Brain Documentary). Music develops fine motor co-ordination and memory in a way that other things don’t, and provides a artistic emotional outlet…which can be extremely therapeutic. Childhood and teenage experiences bring a myriad of strong emotions, many of which may be difficult to articulate or share with family members. Music offers a healthy and socially acceptable outlet for expressing our grief, enthusiasm, anger, anxiety or unrequited love.
Studies have found that learning an instrument can have a profound effect on our ongoing capacity to learn – stimulating the brain in preparation for greater efficiency in all future learning. This is due to the way in which music involves and integrates cognitive (reasoning, spatial, mathematical and creative skills), language, physical and social learning skills.
Music can also stimulate a child’s ability to think outside the box. Exploring the many valid ways to interpret a piece of music teaches children the power of creative thought. Understanding that there is not always one right answer s empowering and gives children the confidence to explore creative problem solving in other areas of learning.
The often exacting nature of music and correct playing technique helps you learn the value the benefits of diligence and detail. Success achieved through sustained effort and challenging your inner resources can heighten self-esteem as you reap the rewards associated with producing good rather than mediocre work.
One of the greatest joys comes at the end of a successful performance. A valuable saying, ‘the only way around fear is through it’ has helped many performers conquer their nerves in order to share their talents with either an examiner or an audience. Every performance experience, whether as a candidate in an exam or a musician in a concert, takes you closer to the time when you have your nerves under control and can allow the adrenalin to showcase your abilities to their full potential.
Andrew Rumsey is based in our Sydney showroom managing sales, marketing and other areas of the showroom operations. Andrew is a graduate of the Australian National University (ANU) School of Music, where he studied piano performance under Marcela Fiorillo, Geoffrey Lancaster and Arnan Wiesel. Andrew received his Bachelor of Music in 2010, his First Class Honours degree in 2011 and his Masters of Music degree in 2013.
Andrew has competed in solo and ensemble, local, national and international piano competitions, and during his time at the ANU he was a prizewinner in the Margaret Smiles Accompaniment Competition, the Australian National Eisteddfod and the School of Music Chamber Music Competition. He was also awarded the Imad Nassir Piano Performance Prize, the Dennis Griffin National Masters Piano Scholarship and was made a member of the Golden Key International Honours Society. He has competed and performed in China, Israel and Italy, and has appeared in festivals in the ACT such as the Canberra International Music Festival and the Floriade Rhythm n’ Blooms Festival.
This year marked the beginning of the ‘Rumsey & Friends’ Concert Series in Canberra. Andrew enjoys performing as a piano soloist, duo pianist, accompanist or chamber musician.