New study links musical training with accelerated brain development
6 August 2015, Katy Wright
A new study has revealed that musical training helps children to develop fine motor skills and aids their emotional and behavioural maturation.
Researchers at the University of Vermont College of Medicine analysed the brain scans of 232 healthy children aged between six and 18, looking at brain development in those who played musical instruments. As these children continued their musical training, it accelerated their cortical development in areas involved in coordination, anxiety management and emotional control.
James Hudziak, professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont and director of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families said: I wanted to look at positive things, what we believe benefits child development. What I was surprised by was the emotional regulatory regions.'
'Everyone in our culture knows if I lift 5-pound, 10-pound, 15-pound weights, my biceps will get bigger. The same is true for the brain. We shouldn't be surprised we can train the brain.'
Since the study's participants were all mentally healthy, Hudziak predicts that the positive effect of music training could be significant for those who are not.
Yamaha piano selection sessions extended
4 August 2015, Katy Wright
Yamaha has extended its piano selection sessions at the Southbank Centre, London due to popular demand. Following the success of the 2014 edition, this year's event has been extended to three days, and will take place 16-18 October.
Individuals or representatives of institutions will be able to book 45-minute slots to view and evaluate Yamaha's professional series pianos in privacy, with a concert technician and a team of piano specialists at hand to provide advice.
The event will feature over 45 Yamaha pianos, including a wide range of CX and CF series instruments and, for the first time, a full range of the TransAcoustic models. There will be several public events, including demonstrations of the TransAcoustic instruments featuring Bert Smoernburg.
Yamaha's Leanne Barrell said: 'The selection sessions provide people who are serious about their pianos and music with an exclusive opportunity to play a wide range of Yamaha professional pianos in one place. The intimate and tranquil environment allows them to discuss their requirements with some of the UK's foremost technicians and specialists. They provide the most comprehensive range of Yamaha pianos in the UK and are a rare opportunity for pianists to try multiple variations of the same models.'
To book a private appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01908 369224. The slots are between Friday 09:00-20:30, Saturday 09:00 – 19:55 and Sunday 09:00 – 17:25.
Save the bassoon, plead virtuoso players
4 August 2015, Katy Wright
Virtuoso bassoonists Bram van Sambeek and Laurence Perkins are highlighting the scarcity of their instrument as part of a new campaign.
Launched by Van Sambeek as part of the Holland Festival, 'Save the Bassoon' aims to increase awareness of the instrument through high-profile concerts and new works.
In an interview with the Guardian, Van Sambeek said: ‘The name of the campaign is deliberately quite dramatic because we want people to think about whether the bassoonist could be as endangered as the panda. There is a danger to the future of the orchestra as a result.
‘At the moment, only about 1% of people on the street can even recognise this instrument, I am always prepared for the fact that people won’t know what it is.
Van Sambeek will soon embark on a seven-week celebration of the instrument at Berlin’s Konzerthaus, and is currently looking to the future: ‘We have big plans for bassoon events of the kind that cannot necessarily be performed in a normal concert hall. I expect to have news soon of how we will link up with musicians and orchestras in other countries. The most important thing is to have more international events under the label of Save the Bassoon.’
Manchester Camerata principal bassoonist Laurence Perkins is organising the world's first International Bassoon Day, which will take place 11 October 2015. The event will comprise a mass performance on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall, a solo recital by Perkins himself, and a presentation called 'Bear-Faced Bassoonery' for young people. The event will launch a two-month project featuring more than50 free events at around 35 universities, music colleges, music hubs and schools around the UK to encourage young people to take up the instrument.
Perkins said: 'The bassoon is one of the most versatile and characterful instruments in the orchestra, yet young people are not being given the chance to find that out. This is beginning to have an impact on UK orchestras as music colleges no longer have the applicants to study bassoon in sufficient numbers.'
Ten years ago, the bassoon featured in the Endangered Species campaign, which also highlighted the plight of the oboe, horn, trombone, tuba and double bass. With fewer young people taking up the instrument, many musicians fear there will be shortages in bassoonists in the years to come.
August issue out now
3 August 2015
Nominations open for Music Teacher Awards for Excellence
29 July 2015
Nominations are now open for the 2016 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.
There are 13 categories in total, two of which are new for 2016. Nominations are being accepted for all categories except the Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award and the Music Education Council Major Award.
The 13 award categories include: Best Musical Initiative, sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service; Best Music Education Product; Excellence in Primary/Early Years Music; the Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award; and Best School Music Department, sponsored by the MMA.
The new categories this year are the Music Education Council Major Award and the award for Best Musical Theatre/Drama Education Resource.
Nominations are being invited from teachers, students, parents and music professionals.
Organisations, individuals and companies wishing to nominate a product, service or individual should complete the form online at www.musicteacherawards.co.uk.
The judges will use the information provided in the nominations, combined with their own research, to make their decisions. The deadline for nominations is 23 October 2015.
Launched in 2013, the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence celebrate outstanding achievements in the UK’s music education sector.
At last year’s awards, Richard Morris, the consultant and chairman of the Yehudi Menuhin School, who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
This year’s awards will be presented on 25 February 2016 at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Kensington, London.
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