About the book
Good Music Brighter Children is written for parents, educators or anyone who wants to build a bigger, better brain using music. Scientific studies indicate that children introduced to classical music at a young age read earlier and perform better on achievement tests. Adults can also revive tired brain cells using music. This book gives you a step-by-step program that any parent or individual can follow. You’ll discover how introducing your children to good music can accelerate language development, improve math and science skills, enhance physical coordination, strengthen memory and reading retention, and benefit children with learning disabilities. Discover how to choose an instrument and music teacher for your child; how to get your kids to practice and how character traits such as confidence, responsibility, creativity and teamwork are taught when learning a musical instrument. Learn how to introduce your child to the music community and how to appreciate all kinds of music. Last, if you want to advocate for music in your schools, this book gives the ammunition and data to do so. Also includes a 35-page Resource Section on the best music, books, and DVDs for kids.
Sharlene Habermeyer, MA has spent over twenty-five years researching the effects of music in the brain development of children. She is passionate about how people of all ages learn and how music is a catalyst for learning. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Art from Utah State University and a Masters degree in Education from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California. In 1999, she started the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra (now the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra). It currently boasts over one-hundred members. Sharlene’s initial inspiration for Good Music Brighter Children came from the extensive work she did with her severely learning disabled son, and finding that music was his strongest catalyst for learning she began passionately researching the effects music had on the developing and mature brain. A college instructor, a popular speaker, and a consultant, she is the mother of five boys and lives with her husband in Torrance, California. She has spoken at parent conferences around the United States including the Parents as Teachers Conference (PAT) and the Crucial Years Conference in Missouri. In August 2014, she will be speaking at BYU Education Week.
Largest Independent Book Reviewer in the U.S.: Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media, LLC
“With a scientist’s eye and an artist’s voice, Habermeyer examines everything from the benefits of music for the developing brain to music’s ability to improve cultural awareness. This is an encyclopedic, invaluable resource for anyone who believes in music education. A magnum opus, fact-filled and inspiring on the benefits of music.” -Kirkus Indie, Kirkus Media, LLC
National Music Organization: Music and the Brain “A great resource for both parents and teachers. Anyone interested in music or the overall well-being of children will not be able to put this book down.” -Lisha Papert Lercari, Director, Music and the Brain
University Professor: Dr. James Catterall Sharlene Habermeyer outlines why music is important to learning, and provides parents with excellent suggestions for launching and sustaining a musical influence in the lives of their children.” -James S. Catterall, professor of education and co-director of Imagination Project at UCLA
Mother/Lawyer/Ballet Teacher: Shauna Bird Dunn “Carefully researched and highly readable, Good Music, Brighter Children is written for musicians and non musicians alike. It is filled with wisdom, insight and helpful tips to bring music into the home for all ages and stages of childhood.” -Shauna Bird Dunn, JD, MPA Utah Young Mother of the Year, 2010
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**Chapter One - Overture
The Power of Music (page 5) “In February 1985, as many as three thousand beluga whales were trapped under ice in the Senyavina Strait of Siberia, a narrow body of water across the Bering Strait from Alaska. There were only a few breathing holes in the ice, and the whales had to take turns surfacing for air. Food was running out, the whales were becoming exhausted, and some were even dying. When all seemed hopeless, a Soviet icebreaker, the Moskva, came to the rescue. The ship broke through the ice, making an escape path for the whales, but they wouldn’t budge. Knowing that whales like music, they tried pop and jazz, but still the whales remained motionless. Finally, the crew tried classical music. It was then that the whales followed the music to the open sea and to freedom.”
**Chapter Six - Noteworthy
Learning Values Through Music (pages 121-122) Gaining Perseverance and Determination We live in an age of instants: instant photocopies, instant food, instant photos, instant communications of all sorts, and more. Although many of these instants make our lives easier, they can also give our children a distorted view of life and how goals are achieved. Many children grow up expecting instant results in life, never learning to work for or wait for a reward. When things don’t come easily or immediately, they give up. For this reason, studying a musical instrument becomes a priceless lesson. As a child begins to learn to play the flute, for example, she soon realizes that this is not going to be done in an “instant.” It will take time, patience, perseverance, determination, and the ability to stick to the task, day after day, year after year, to play the flute with any degree of proficiency. Learning to read notes, to develop hand-eye coordination, to listen, and to count rhythms is a process involving perseverance. As she works through the difficulties and challenges of learning an instrument, she soon learns that determination and perseverance equal success. Likewise, the perseverance a child learns by practicing her instrument can be, as the experience of many demonstrate, transferred to other areas of her life. For instance, when subjects in school are difficult, she will continue to try her best until the assignment is completed, confident that eventually she will be successful. When life throws her a curve she will not give up, but will work harder with even greater diligence and perseverance until she reaches her goal. Although most of the great composers suffered personal adversity, they persevered and went on to write beautiful sonatas, symphonies, and operas. Beethoven, despite his progressive deafness at an early age, wrote perhaps his greatest music after going completely deaf. Bach suffered blindness and diabetes, yet continued to compose music. George Frideric Handel suffered a debilitating stroke that put him in a rest home. The world felt that a great life had come to a close. With dogged persistence, he shuffled his way to the organ each night after everyone had gone to bed, forcing his fingers to slowly play each key on the organ. The nuns who heard him were amazed at his unfailing courage and determination. Eventually, he made a complete recovery and went on to write many great pieces of music.