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10 Life-Enhancing Benefits of Learning To Play a Musical Instrument

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  Love of music is a universal thing.  Whether we listen to music in the car, strum a guitar around the campfire, sing in a choir, or tickle the keys of a piano in our free time, we all enjoy music in some way. But did you know that music has the ability to enhance every part of our lives? It’s true — music has physical, mental, and emotional benefits. This is especially true when we learn to play an instrument. What’s more, when children learn an instrument at a young age, it can boost their development in a number of amazing ways. Here are just a few of the ways that learning to play a musical instrument can enhance your child’s life : 1. Improves Memory Skills Learning any new skill forms new neural pathways, keeping our brains healthy and agile. Learning to play an instrument is no exception.   Playing an instrument is to the brain what a total body workout is to the body . It uses every part of our brain, including our motor, auditory, and visual cortexes — important areas of deve

How Music Can Soothe Your Baby for Better Sleep and Reduced Colic

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      Every parent knows the frustration of trying to get a fussy baby to sleep. You try everything...bouncing, swaying, feeding, back rubs...and nothing seems to work. You’re stressed and exhausted, and you feel heartsick for your poor little one. Whether it’s due to colic or any number of reasons, when sleep eludes your baby, you both suffer.   There are a number of techniques that can help your child get their much-needed rest, and one of them is music. Let’s look at how music can soothe your baby so they (and you) can get some sleep. Music Affects Babies Even Before Birth Music has an effect on babies even before they’re born. As early as 16-18 weeks, a baby hears its first sound; at 24 weeks, their ears are developing more, and they will respond to voices and noise. In the final months of pregnancy, a baby can recognize their mother’s voice, language, word patterns, and even rhymes.   In the 3rd trimester, your baby can definitely hear and respond to the music you play. Gentle sou

More Than Just Fun: Why Kids Need Music and Play

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Music and play bring a lot of joyful fun to life — a good enough reason in itself to make sure we give our children plenty of time to play and fill their lives with opportunities to engage with music. But singing, dancing, playing instruments, listening to music, and playing with other children can do even more for our kids than help them have fun. In fact, music and play are vital to a child’s healthy development. Here are a few reasons why kids need music and play. Music Enhances Brain Development and Boosts School Readiness From swaying and bouncing as infants to making up songs as preschoolers to group singing or learning to play instruments in elementary school, music makes up a vital part of the way our children learn, grow, and develop. Numerous studies have shown the benefits that music plays in child development. For instance, a 5-year study done at the University of Southern California showed that childhood musical experiences can accelerate brain development. This was parti

9 Reasons to LOVE Take Note Studio This Summer

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Summer means the end of school year routines and time to make fun summer plans! From beach days and picnics to ball games and family vacations, there’s so much to love about summer. As you’re making your summer plans, don’t forget to add summer music programs at Take Note Studio to your list!  Our summer programs offer your children a chance to learn through the arts while enjoying play time with their classmates. Here are 9 reasons to love Take Note Studio this summer! 1. Maintain a Comfortable, Predictable Routine All Summer Long Having a routine is valuable to you and your children. Children thrive within structure: a routine gives them a sense of security and helps remove the fear of the unknown. And when they feel secure, kids are more free to think, feel, and be creative. A routine establishes a sense of consistency and gives kids (and parents) something to look forward to. It also offers parents and children opportunities to connect throughout the week. Whether it’s enjoying som

The Power of Moments

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Enjoy every moment! It goes so fast! How many times have you heard that, as a parent?  How does it make you feel?  It makes me nuts.  It makes me feel like there is something about me that is inherently lacking, that someone would need to remind me to enjoy the experience of my own life. Enjoy every moment! Thanks! I really love this one that involves holding a regurgitated piece of chocolate while holding two winter jackets, a backpack, a purse, a leash and a very important rock, sweat dripping down my back, while loading into my van in a vain attempt to make it to class on time. That moment is SO FUN and MAGICAL. One of my favorite authors, Glennon Doyle, has an essay about this phenomenon -- moms of grown children reminding moms of young children to enjoy every moment , and she’s very funny in her analysis of it, ultimately leaving readers with this point: you will never enjoy every moment.  It is literally impossible.  But undoubtedly between the crying moments, the tantrum momen

How Has Infant and Toddler Socialization Been Affected by the Pandemic?

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  As you well know, the past year has been difficult for our children in so many ways . With social distancing, less time in childcare, and less time playing with other kids, our children have not only experienced social isolation and loneliness, but have missed out on opportunities for cognitive and social development as well. Without the stimulation they would normally get outside the home, children can experience developmental delays, such as delays in speech and language, as well as trouble sharing and being in groups. Socialization is crucial not only to a child’s happiness, but to their healthy development as well. Adverse Life Events Can Have Long-Term Effects on Child Development Many studies show that adverse life events early in a child’s life (also known as Adverse Child Experiences ) can negatively impact their health and development. These events can include any negative or potentially traumatic experience. Adverse life events in childhood can be detrimental to brain devel

Practice

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My family is still virtual everything, for the time being. Being home as much as we are, the hours slip like sand through my fingers.  What's fun about it is the opendedness -- sure we can watch a movie at 7:30 am! What’s maddening about it is the open endedness -- wait we’ve finished an entire movie and it’s only 9 in the morning? This year has required me to be in charge of my family's schedule in a way I never anticipated, and in order to refocus I read this quote from one of my favorite authors, Matt Haig: “Be curious. Get outside. Go to bed on time, some of the time. Drink water. Breathe from your diaphragm. Eat broccoli. Eat chocolate. Get a routine baggy enough to live in.”  A practice I’ve started during the pandemic is, every morning I write down one small promise I will keep that day.  Most days it looks like “I will do 10 minutes of yoga,” or “I will take a walk around the block by myself,” or “I will meditate for 5 minutes,” and it NEVER looks like “I will mak