• Wanda Cook

HOW TO ENSURE YOUR CHILD SUCCEEDS IN MUSIC - Step 2

Updated: Sep 10


Private music students who attend group lessons, group rehearsals, and group performances experience 5 significant benefits of being in a music ensemble that results in growing up with musical confidence.


The music lesson and learning experience at Young Artists Conservatory of Music (YACM) is based on four pillars: Private Lessons, Ensemble Experiences, Classroom Theory and Musicianship, and Frequent Performances. In this article we will uncover Step 2: The Benefit of Participating in Music Ensembles.


Ensemble education is aimed at developing the whole student as a confident musical contributor. All YACM students are assigned to an ensemble to amplify their experience and thus their learning. Ensembles perform at four performances each academic year. The benefits of participating in an ensemble provide an abundance of learning and positive childhood experiences.


1. Social and Emotional Connection with Music and Others

While spending hours practicing and mastering an instrument at home and in a one-on-one lesson is foundational, the greatest connection to the self as a musician is memorialized in the making of music together. By rehearsing your part and working together to create a unified sound, students forge a relationship with their peers and the music that accentuates learning and musical confidence.


2. Auditory / Visual Neural Development

Studies by neural scientist, Nina Kraus show that the brain is changed significantly by the life we live in sound. Learning music in an ensemble setting, requires our brains to make sense of sound by engaging multiple brain systems: sensing, feeling, moving, and reasoning. Dr. Kraus’ research shows that no other learning activity has a greater effect on brain development than the learning associated with music, and more so music ensemble. Essentially, learning music in ensemble is the Jackpot of brain development.


3. Reinforcing what is Learned in Private Lessons

General technique is taught within one-on-one lessons but ensemble playing reinforces this technique. Even more important, students will better understand the reason for having learned the technique thus allowing them to be more engaged and motivated to further their technique and musicianship.


4. Developing the Ability to be In Sync with Others

Following a conductor, keeping time, reading music, blending, soloing, and keeping up if you make a mistake, all while performing with others are the benchmarks of functional musicianship. The conductor of the ensemble brings all the parts together to work as a whole. The students need to learn how to interpret and respond to the conductor rhythmically and artistically. As their choices become more conditional on the leader and the flow of the group, their musicianship skills “magically” become more self-governed.


5. Experiential Learning

Humans learn when they experience an intersection of emotion with reasoning. Private lessons explore musical concepts such as structure, dynamics, expressive techniques, tone color, pitch, and rhythm. These foundations of music are given a practical application in the ensemble setting where “young artists” begin to understand, appreciate and apply their learning while emotional connections are amplified in the group.


For more information about enrolling at YACM and which ensemble your child is eligible for, please contact our Admissions Department at admissions@youngartistsconservatory.org


https://brainvolts.northwestern.edu/


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