Great Minds are Young

Posts Tagged ‘music

What better way to relaunch my blog featuring young talents than celebrating one of my own!

My 12-year-old son, Luca, is a passionate dreamy young man who sees and plays the world in a very special and unique way. Here’s a short video of him practicing two of his favorite pieces, played his very own way.

Enjoy!

There is a common belief, among most of the people I know at least, that children are too young  to appreciate culture, especially when it comes to historical tourism, classical music, jazz, art, etc. Well, based on a personal experience, I totally disagree. Children appreciate whatever they get accustomed to.

As kids grow up, it is our responsibility, parents, teachers and people in charge, to shape their minds the healthiest way possible by exposing those young minds to Culture in all its aspects. The more natural and smooth the exposure is the more our kids embrace it, appreciate it and make it a part of their lives.

Children mustn’t at any point feel that it is an obligation or a punishment or something they have to do to impress other people. Children need to see their parents and people they trust appreciating and enjoying the cultural activities or moments they do or have together, so that they start appreciating them in their turns. Children need to understand and believe that culture nurtures their minds and souls and let them grow with brighter healthier minds.

Kids do enjoy and appreciate Culture in all its aspects if we, grown-ups, do! It just has to be smooth, effortless, natural, and fun. It just needs to be part of their everyday life, shared and appreciated by people they love and trust…

Picture taken by Jennifer of her guitar

“Music’s the Medicine of my Mind!” When I read this on the wall of 14-year-old Lebanese Jennifer Al Ghoul I felt curious, happy and proud… Whether quoting John Logan or saying this from the heart, Jenny expressed her feelings, thoughts, and appreciation of music in the best way she could. Being a guitar player, and constantly trying to compose her own music, Jenny seeks comfort, consolation, inspiration and joy in music.

The great attachment of this young generation to music in general is impressive, but do all young people truly appreciate real music, and try to understand and interpret it? It is true that music has a special significance to each and every person, but does this generation have a proper musical education and culture? Do youngsters take advantage of the benefits of “real” music?

Research has shown that children that are actively involved with music have better academic results, their concentration ability is much better, their body control is stronger and their self-esteem is considerably higher.

Among many other functions, Music is a mood regulator, spirit uplifter, creativity booster and a great healer. Music is indeed the medicine of our mind…

My two boys had their piano final exam 2 days ago. I was trying hard to make them feel relaxed and enjoy it using my special “supportive skills” 😉 Well, it turned out at the end much easier and less complicated then I thought…

I have two totally different types of kids. The younger one rarely shows signs of stress about a test or performance; he always acts cool about it, he never mentions it except to know what his reward would be if he made it, and set some bargains 🙂 On the other hand, the older one considers it a huge responsibility, worries a lot about his ‘image’, stresses about it and sometimes becomes irritable and emotional.

Two days before their performance, their keyboard wire broke by “magic” 😀 My husband and I decided not to replace it, and stopped mentioning the test.

The night before the exam I talked to them about the importance of being positive thinkers and having self-confidence. I told them I was very proud of them no matter what the results would be, and that I was very sure they were going to pass their test very easily… Well, I tried to prepare them and help them overcome their stress and focus only on the rewards they would get when they pass. For my younger son it was very smooth and easy, for he did not seem that worried. For the older one, it needed some extra hugs…

Well, of course I would like to give my lectures and support all the credit for my boys’ great performance the following day, but it was not really the case! I mean it did help them a great deal ;), but what did most of the job were two major things:

  1. Some extremely crazy moments they spent with their father, where they sang, listened to very loud music, yelled, laughed, jumped, joked around, etc. This helped them let go of all the stress, get distracted, and become much more relaxed.
  2. A very welcoming and smiley examiner. As they stepped inside the examination room, they could clearly see his big smile and feel his supportive and kind attitude, which relieved them and made them more comfortable discussing their performance and all the other related stuff.

Very simple things may help us release our tension, let go of our worries and stress, and perform much better. Most of the times a positive thought, a smile, a song or a dance could perfectly do the job!

I was just watching a truly amazing and inspiring  young talent and felt like sharing it with you. This is a great performance of Sirena Huang at TED.com when she was only 11 years old (2006). Sirena started her violin lessons at the age of 4. She won top prizes in a lot of international competitions. At TED.com, in addition to her breathtaking and profoundly moving violin performance, she praised her instrument and its timeless design with a distinguished innocence, sense of humor, and professionalism that surpass her age.

Enjoy!!

http://www.ted.com/talks/sirena_huang_dazzles_on_violin.html

Hundreds of recent studies prove the positive effect music has on every aspect of our lives, from relaxation, to entertainment, to healing. Neuroscientists prove that “music has the potential to illuminate fundamental aspects of human brain function, including language, the active nature of perception, and the processing of complex sequences that unfold in time.”

I have personally experienced the greatness of music many times and on different levels. I actually started sharing this passion with my students almost daily. As we work together in class we listen to one of the great classical composers, or we get introduced to a new kind of music and enjoy it together. One of the most enjoyable was a jazz format of Mozart’s music that was recorded in France in 1965 ( Jazzgang Amadeus Mozart – Claude Bolling). The results were tremendously positive despite the doubts some of us had at the beginning. Music started to melt in the background of the classroom, and became a natural element in class that we would all miss if not present.

Now you would ask me about the tangible results of such a technique. Well, besides the great cultural value of music we all benefited from, lessons started being far more enjoyable, positive energy and creativity filled the air, tension was dissolved, communication was smoother, and focus increased, which made understanding the lesson much easier.

Of all the great roles music has played in my life, I mentioned a very special one, where it helped me create a comfortable atmosphere in all my classes and unleash the creativity of some special young people.

What roles has music played in your lives?

He speaks of shining eyes, like the ones I see everyday


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