Black Friday 2009: 40% off Music Lessons for One Day Only!

Black Friday IconWe did it. We jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon. But why wouldn’t we? On a day where people are looking to find deals and start their holiday shopping, why not give them an amazing offer that they can’t refuse??

So…for the first time EVER, we are offering new students 40% off on your first month of voice or music lessons* when you purchase your lessons on Friday, November 27, 2009.

If you were thinking about getting started with music lessons or singing lessons, now is your chance. If lessons are not your thing, lesson packages make fun and unique holiday gifts for family members and friends. We have never offered a deal this great – and it’s for ONE DAY ONLY. You will not be able to get this deal at anywhere else.

We know that signing up for lessons is a big step. You are committing to something new and must find time in your schedule and room in your budget to get started. It’s a very involved decision and we definitely recognize that. But, that is also why we are really excited to offer our 40% off Black Friday sale to all new customers. With savings like these, you don’t really have an excuse to not pick up that guitar, tune up that piano or flip on the karaoke machine and get started with lessons.

You only have one day to take advantage of this offer. So once the tryptophan-induced sleepiness  from your Thanksgiving Turkey dinner wears off, pick up the phone and give us a call at 877-231-8505 on Friday to book your lessons. We will be looking forward to your call!

Nov Calendar

*For more information, click here or visit /black-friday-music-lessons. Customers must call in and mention the Black Friday 2009 offer to receive the discount. The offer is not currently available for online booking.

Looking to increase your brain power? Take music lessons!

Music BrainIt is never a dull day here at TakeLessons. Our phones ring throughout day with people looking to get started with music lessons. Many of the inquiries are parents looking to get their children started with lessons – guitar lessons, piano lessons, singing lessons – even accordion lessons! The reasons they us give range from “my 4-year-old daughter has a voice like Beyoncé” to “my 17-year-old son needs to start focusing on something other than football.”

We hear it all. Well almost…

One thing we don’t really hear is, “I want to increase my child’s mental ability and therefore, I would like to get him/her set up with guitar lessons.”

With all of the articles published that show the importance of music on brain development, it’s actually amazing that we don’t hear this kind of request more often. Is it because people focus on the entertainment value of music while the developmental component is secondary?  Are they even aware of the added benefits of musical education? Does the parent that hopes her daughter becomes the next big pop star realize that while this may not occur, her daughter’s singing lessons are actually helping to enhance her small motor skills, auditory senses and ability to communicate?

Regardless of the reasons our students start taking music lessons, we are happy to have them on board and encourage them throughout their journey. With our S.T.A.R. Program™ and our Lesson Success Journals™, we keep our students motivated and excited to take their next lesson. If one of our students actually becomes the next big pop star, we will be their #1 fan; but we’ll be just as supportive when another aces their upcoming algebra or language test. We are proud of them not only for their musical accomplishments, but for whatever else they set out to do and achieve.

If you are interested in learning more about the effects of music on brain development, you should check out the article below titled “Music Lessons Boost Brain Powerfound on Fox News last week. You can also read the full article located here –  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,572551,00.html

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Music Lessons Boost Brain Power

foxnews_story

Researchers found a correlation between early-childhood musical training and improvements to nonverbal reasoning, verbal ability and motor skills

WASHINGTON — For those who seriously practiced a musical instrument when they were young, the experience was more than just entertainment. Recent research shows a strong correlation between musical training for children and certain mental abilities.

The research was discussed at a session at a recent gathering of acoustics experts in Austin, Texas.

Laurel Trainor, director of the Institute for Music and the Mind at McMaster University in West Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues compared preschool children who had taken music lessons with those who did not. Those with some training showed larger brain responses on a number of sound recognition tests given to the children. Her research indicated that musical training appears to modify the brain’s auditory cortex.

Can larger claims be made for the influence on the brain of musical training? Does training change thinking or cognition in general?

Trainor again says yes. Even a year or two of music training leads to enhanced levels of memory and attention when measured by the same type of tests that monitor electrical and magnetic impulses in the brain.

We therefore hypothesize that musical training (but not necessarily passive listening to music) affects attention and memory, which provides a mechanism whereby musical training might lead to better learning across a number of domains,” Trainor said.

Trainor suggested that the reason for this is that the motor and listening skills needed to play an instrument in concert with other people appears to heavily involve attention, memory and the ability to inhibit actions. Merely listening passively to music to Mozart — or any other composer — does not produce the same changes in attention and memory.

Harvard University researcher Gottfried Schlaug has also studied the cognitive effects of musical training. Schlaug and his colleagues found a correlation between early-childhood training in music and enhanced motor and auditory skills as well as improvements in verbal ability and nonverbal reasoning.

The scientists also discovered that different instruments appear to cause a varying modification within the brain. Changes in the brains of singers occur in slightly different locations than those seen for keyboard or string players.

The correlation between music training and language development is even more striking for dyslexic children.

“[The findings] suggest that a music intervention that strengthens the basic auditory music perception skills of children with dyslexia may also remediate some of their language deficits.” Schlaug said.

Schlaug reports that tone-deaf individuals often have a reduced or absent arcuate fasciculus, a fiber tract connecting the frontal and temporal lobes in the brain. Reduced or damaged arcuate fasciculus has been associated with various acquired language problems like aphasia and also dyslexia in children.

Still more evidence that formal music training strengthens auditory cortex responses came in a study performed by Antoine Shahin, now at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. Shahin believes that musical training gives an individual the
acoustic responsiveness of a child some 2 – 3 years older. In talking about the affect of music on the brain, he said the studies do not necessarily show that musical training leads to enhanced IQ or creativity.

Shahin said that when a person listens to sounds over and over, especially for something as harmonic or meaningful as music and speech, the appropriate neurons get reinforced in responding preferentially to those sounds compared to other sounds. This neural behavior was examined in a study that looked at the degree of auditory cortex responsiveness to music and non-familiar sounds as a child ages.

Shahin’s main findings are that the changes triggered by listening to musical sound increases with age and the greatest increase occur between age 10 and 13. This most likely indicates this as being a sensitive period for music and speech acquisition.

Glenn Schellenberg from the University of Toronto directly addressed if musical ability makes a person smarter. Such assessments concerning children are always difficult because of the influence of other factors, such as parental income and education. Nevertheless, he found that passive listening to music seems to help a person perform certain cognitive tests, at least in the short run. Actual music lessons for kids, however, leads to a longer lasting cognitive success.

The effects of musical training on cognition for adults, Schellenberg said, are harder to pin down.

This article was provided by Inside Science News Service, which is supported by the American Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit publisher of scientific journals.

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Inspiration: We’re sharing ours with you. Who are you sharing yours with?

Be InspiredThe following post was submitted by one of our team members, Chris Waldron. Chris is one of our Directors here at TakeLessons and is truly an inspirational leader. Chris spends a great amount of time working with all of our music teachers to keep them informed, excited and motivated to be the best teachers they can be. We always value his encouragement and drive in the office and now it’s time to share a sample of it with all of you!

Chris writes:

Inspiration

When using Google to search for the term “inspiration,” 92,300,000 searches come up.  When I search oxygen, 70,700,000 results come up.  If these results were an indicator of importance, that means inspiration is more important to us than oxygen.  Obviously in the real world that is not true.  However, as humans we have a strong attraction to things that inspire us.

The first time I felt inspired to achieve success in life happened during my college years.  I was paying for my own school as a knife salesman.  My sales were not spectacular and I had not yet learned the art of selling.  I had a book suggested to me The Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman that I think changed my perspective on life.  It drove me to look beyond my obstacles and to remain inspired even when faced with adversity.  To this day I continue to take this approach.

The reason why I am sharing this with you is because all of you have the opportunity and the responsibility to inspire others.  Recently I attended a Pearl Jam concert where Eddie Vedder invited his original music teacher on stage to jam with them.  I thought that was awesome of him to show appreciation for someone who influenced his life.  Most students will not make it to the level of success that Eddie Vedder has, but that does not make them any less important as students.  Dreams are important and I encourage all of you to remember back to when you were first introduced to music and what a profound impact it had on you.  Share that feeling with a new music student or friend and if you personally teach music, remind students at the beginning of a lesson why they are there.  Have the vision and the commitment that they maybe don’t have for themselves yet.

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See what we mean? We are so lucky to have someone like Chris on our team. Thanks to all of his encouraging words, it’s no wonder the TakeLessons team is so  happy, hardworking, driven, enthusiastic…we could go on for days!

Don’t you think we look inspired??

The TakeLessons Team