Music-Brain Research

  • Disney On-Line Take Pamela DeWall, who's been working with children and music for nearly three decades. She is director of strings at Harrisburg Academy; a violinist with the Harrisburg Symphony; director of DeWall Suzuki Violins, a performing group comprising her 35 private students; and conductor of the Wednesday Club's Youth Chamber Orchestra and the Junior Symphonia of Central Pennsylvania. "Music training accesses a part of the brain not targeted by most traditional education," DeWall says. "It targets the right brain, where most early childhood teaching focuses on left brain activities such as reading. Music training at a young age makes children better whole brain users." DeWall is a practitioner of the Suzuki method of music instruction, which starts with very young children and develops their ability. "We don't test children to enter our program of instruction," DeWall says, "we'll take anybody. We don't screen for only the bright kids. We believe that if you start music instruction with a child of three or four, they become a bright child." DeWall's personal philosophy echoes the Suzuki theory. "I don't teach children because I want them to play the violin," DeWall says. "I teach them because I want to aid in their emotional and mental development and give them a way to express themselves. I teach them to get real good in one discipline so they can become better in math or history or whatever. I teach them music to make them better people." DeWall mentions one of her students, a ninth grader who practices the violin for two hours every day. "She doesn't want to be a musician," DeWall says, "she wants to go into medicine. I don't know how she finds the time to practice, but she says that she wouldn't miss it. She says everything goes better for her when she plays." "I've taught thousands of kids," DeWall adds, "and I know I couldn't have picked only bright ones. I believe music training makes them bright."
  • Fun-Fact Artistic/Musical/Creative thought processes are controlled by the right side of the brain... Therefore artists are the only people in their right minds!