Summer is coming soon and parents are scrambling to figure out the best way to occupy their children in the down time. Travel, sleeping late and lazy days are a great part of summer vacation, but it’s not all fun and water games. It’s important to remember that learning continues even when the weather turns hot. A child’s brain craves stimulation and needs enrichment activities to stave off “summer learning loss.” This is a phenomenon where students lose academic skills, particularly in reading and math, over the break and have difficulty bridging the gap when they return to school. Avoiding this summer regression can be expensive for families and boring for kids.

Consider music education as one way to avoid both these problems. Low cost weekly lessons on a fun instrument not only stimulates the brain, but it improves learning situations over all. Research continues to demonstrate that students who receive music education have improved math and reading achievement, better focus and organizational skills, and increased verbal development. Students who take lessons and are encouraged to practice at home, successfully hone habits which improve their abilities to work independently in the classroom and on homework.

In addition, music education fosters the acquisition of a new skill, which stimulates the brain in an entirely different way—one which sparks imagination and creativity. These are necessities in critical thinking, problem solving, and composition. Students who receive music education are better “active listeners,” i.e. hearing the audible while simultaneously anticipating what is developing. Music education also improves motor skills, memory and abstract thinking.

Furthermore, there’s excitement in meeting benchmarks in music education. Students are easily able to feel and hear their progress. Music education builds confidence, especially for students who struggle in traditional classroom environments. This immediate gratification builds self-esteem in students who need it most. Studies show this confidence makes students better communicators who have improved peer relationships. According to a 2008 Harris Interactive study, 70% of students involved in music report it contributes to their level of personal fulfillment.

Summer should be a time of fun and adventure. We all know you only get to be a kid once, for a very short time. No one wants to spoil summer with academics and homework. Music education facilitates valuable learning experience outside the traditional classroom, in a fun creative environment. Unlike traditional education, music education offers the flexibility to transition from instrument to instrument and find the right fit for each individual. There’s the opportunity for innovation, creation and collaboration. There’s room for personal growth, success and recognition. And, there’s air-conditioning!

Music education is the bridge to the summer learning gap.

White Oak Music and Arts is an all-ages/all-stages music and performing arts education institution in the San Fernando Valley. We believe that music and arts are essential to learning, self-expression and inclusivity for all. We offer affordable individual lessons, group programs and equipment. We have a professional in-house staff capable of instruction on a variety of devices and techniques. We welcome special-needs and second language students.

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