Saxophone Forum

by RobertD
(73 posts)
6 years ago

Baltimore Sun: You're never too old, busy or rusty to make music

An article on how many people in the USA would like to play music as opposed to how many people actually do make music. The numbers are very high for those who would like to play. The numbers are shockingly low for those who actually do know how to play. Or sing. These abyssmally low numbers aren't only instrumentalists, they include singers!

I read an interview with Harvey Pittel. He expounded on the early '50s Los Angeles education system's excellent music program where children as young as second grade could begin learning an instrument. The music program in our New Jersey school system in the early 60s began in the sixth grade. Later, if you passed the exam for very limited placement, you could enter an art-focused high school and learn theory, harmony, etc. An advanced music education in public school!

Today, it seems, it's all sports all the time. With the results you might expect when you remove the arts and insert pseudo-warfare activities that damage young brains instead of improving them.

Enough of my ranting on the failure of the U.S. education system regarding the arts. An intersting article. Excerpt below. Read on if you like at the link:

You're never too old, busy or rusty to make music  

"Eighty-five percent of adults in the U.S. who do not play a musical instrument wish they had learned to play one, according to a 2009 Gallup Poll; 69 percent would like to play one now. Nearly all believe musical skills can be learned at any age. Yet a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts survey found that just 12 percent of U.S. adults were playing musical instruments.

This gap between aspiration and actuality occurs despite research that shows that making music, as a pro or amateur, is good for the brain and may delay the onset of some of the mental decline of aging. Scans of musicians’ brains show that playing an instrument involves greater communication among different regions of the brain than with other tasks, which may lead a musician’s brain to create new neural pathways. Those extra pathways may provide musicians with “cognitive reserve” when dementia strikes because their brains “will automatically be more able to cope and find new ways to do tasks,” explains Canadian neuroscientist Aline Moussard."

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