Sunday, 12 March 2017


Kids' Group Singing Class

Hope you are all having a great day today. It is my pleasure to connect with you once again and thank you for your continued readership and engagement with this blog and more for your love of music. I also want to thank you for your comments, questions sent to my email and for sharing my posts with your Facebook contacts.

During my national youth service days when I served as the music director for NYSC Lagos, I carried out some music community development projects in favour of youths and children and my campaign was not well received because the officials who were to approve the project could not connect with the benefits of music to the age group I was targeting. I clearly remember a zonal officer saying, “This is jamboree!” I was frozen because I knew what it meant – the project would not be approved!

Being a beneficiary of the benefits of music, with my faculties well developed, thanks to music learning; I went into brainstorming to find a way out, the result of which led to the approval of my music projects. After the implementation of which I had an award from the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).

What did I do to break past the protocols and get my darling projects approved???
That in itself is a story for another day. I took a set of well-orchestrated steps and would be willing to share with anyone who is having similar issues. More so, I look forward to making a book out of it to help upcoming corps members conquer challenges that may come their way as the implementation of their community projects progresses.  

Children singing

Now to the real business: What makes learning music – singing or playing a musical instrument so invaluably important and beneficial to all? Look through the facts below and afterwards, I will share some life-changing information with you and I encourage you to take action because that is where the benefits reside.

  Music is everywhere: on the radio, in movies and television shows and as abackdrop when shopping or celebrating milestones.

  Music is an integral part of cultures all over the world. Music can express emotions not easily conveyed otherwise.

 It also provides a sense of community and belonging and can help unite the divided.

 From the earliest days after their birth, children can be calmed by music.

  Music helps people work out their feelings and can be uplifting and comforting when people need a boost.

 While many people are familiar with the mood-enhancing benefits of music, they may not know that music also has developmental benefits.

  According to Don Campbell, internationally known educator and author of “The Mozart Effect for Children,” music enhances intelligence, coordination, emotional expression, creativity, and socialization skills.

  Studies have suggested that music and movement affect all areas of development.

  Music can bolster listening skills, improve motor skills, assist with problem solving, and promote spatial-temporal reasoning. Many others say that music can calm and focus the mind, which is why it so often employed by therapists.

  Students in music classes receive higher scores on standardized tests than students with little to no musical involvement.

 In addition, singing and engaging in musical appreciation sharpens one’s ability to communicate.

  Learning a piece of information attached to a tune will more readily embed that information in the brain. For example, many children learn the alphabet via song. Pairing lessons with song can help anyone retain information more easily.

  Music is also fun, so much so that kids may not realize they’re actually learning while singing. Children don’t think of singing as work and may be more willing to participate. Songs can be used to reinforce all different subjects, from language arts to mathematics.

  Children or adults who are apprehensive about meeting new people can use music as a means to open the door to new friendships.

  Joining a choral group will immediately introduce people to others who enjoy music as well. Group singing is less intimidating than singing alone, so it takes some of the pressure off of a person and can staunch performance anxiety.

A toddler on piano


Do you know that you get the greatest brain benefits of music when you learn a musical instrument? How is this so?

By learning a musical instrument you are exercising the left, right, front, and back portions on the brain. What happens when the entire brain is being utilized? Learning increases!!! That’s the point!

Group violin lessons for kids

One of the most significant increases is in spatial reasoning or spatial intelligence. This is the ability to see pictures in the mind and to solve problems in your mind. People with spatial reasoning can “see” three-dimensionally and can see the intricate details of an object in their mind. This is the world of the pilot, the surgeon, the artist and the scientist. Albert Einstein, the great scientist falls into this group.

Sir Albert Einstein

He was a genius at seeing patterns and solving problems in his mind and a wonder to the world. When he died, his brain was divided into five sections and given to the top scientists in the world to study. It was Dr. Marion Diamond at UC Berkeley, one of the people to receive a portion of his brain, who found that the spatial area of his brain was 25 percent larger than the normal human brain.
Einstein was also a violinist and played the violin when trying to solve difficult problems. His musical ability helped him to “solve all his difficulties,” his son Hans Albert reported.

Additionally, scientists have found that because music involves the brain at every level, the following occurs:

    Bigger Brain: People who learn a musical instrument have larger brains—5 percent larger than non-  musicians.

       More Analytical: Musicians’ brains are more analytical and better at math.

     Specific Brain Building: Playing a musical instrument refines the development of the brain in a way that cannot be done by any other activity.

      Necessary for Total Brain Development: Playing a musical instrument is vital for the total development of the brain.

   Better Coordination, Memory: Those who play a musical instrument have greater coordination, concentration and better memory.

A little boy playing the guitar

In short, people who play a musical instrument have bigger, better brains!

Musical Suggestion: Take the plunge! Start taking music lessons; also get your children taking music lessons; take music lessons together. Even if you are “older” take music lessons—it will keep you young-looking; young-feeling; young-thinking! 

If you are in Lagos, Nigeria or anywhere around the world and want music lessons for you and your family, call: +2348132918691, +2349098620855 or WhatsApp +447435240062.

Laura Etemah