Research shows that two years of musical training in community music programs improves auditory brain function

A new Northwestern University study funded by the NAMM Foundation provides the first direct evidence that a community music program for at-risk youth has a biological effect on children’s developing nervous systems. Two years of music lessons improved the precision with which the children’s brains distinguished similar speech sounds, a neural process that is linked to language and reading skills.

“This research demonstrates that community music programs can literally ‘remodel’ children’s brains in a way that improves sound processing, which could lead to better learning and language skills,” said study lead author Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles professor of communication sciences in the School of Communication and of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.

Read more: Music Study Enhances Brain Function In At-Risk Children


Some of the world’s best all-age drum and bugle corps headed to Rochester, New York, over Labor Day weekend for the 50th anniversary edition of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) World Championships.

After two years away in Annapolis, Maryland, DCA mades its return to its familiar home at Sahlen’s Stadium, as more than 20 corps from across the country square offed in several events scheduled Aug. 29-31.

Read more: DCI Celebrates 50th Anniversary

James P. Stephens joins Music for All as director of Advocacy and Educational Resources

Music for All has added a new professional, James P. Stephens, to its Indianapolis staff, as director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. Stephens joins Music for All having most recently served as a music educator for one of the nation’s most respected scholastic music programs, at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.

Music for All combines regional and national music-event programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at expanding access to music in schools and communities, including Indianapolis.

The director of Advocacy and Educational Resources is a new position created to meet key organizational objectives and initiatives.

Read more: Music for All Adds Staff

This August, the California Music Educators Association issued a statement on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) education.

“As a result of Governor Brown’s new Local Control Funding Formula, California now has the opportunity to provide all students with a sequential, standards-based education in music and the arts,” said CMEA president Michael Stone,

 

Here’s the statement in full:

As Californians, we task our children to be career-ready innovators capable of creating a future that will sustain the largest and most innovative economy in the Nation. Our educational system also values educating our young people so that they become lifelong learners and citizens who actively participate in our democracy. Training in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects) are key to producing the next generation of problem solvers in California.

Read more: CMEA Offers Statement on STEAM

Jay Wanamaker takes the helm at Amati USA

Wind instrument maker Amati USA has announced that industry veteran Jay Wanamaker has been named the company's new president & COO. Jay will oversee all Amati U.S. operations, including Amati Woodwind & Brass Instruments and V.F. Cerveny Brass Instruments, as well as overseeing the Strunal String Instrument brand.

Read more: Amati USA Names New President

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) heads back to Music City for its 2nd Annual NAfME National In-Service Conference. The weekend-long conference includes over 100 sessions for music educators in a variety of areas of interest. Collegiate member attendees will also have the chance to engage in professional development programs.

Read more: Nashville NAfME In-Service Conference Set for October 26-29

At the 2014 Drum Corps International World Championship Finals on Saturday, Aug. 9 in Indianapolis, the Blue Devils from Concord, California notched their 16th world championship, and fourth in the past six years, capping the group’s sixth undefeated season. The Blue Devils set a record high score at the finals competition of 99.650, which was .50 higher than the previous record, which was held by the 2002 Cavaliers and 2005 Cadets.

Read more: Blue Devils Win DCI Championships

Trumpeter Sean Jones Named Chair of Berklee College of Music’s Brass Department

 

Berklee College of Music has named noted trumpeter Sean Jones chair of the college’s Brass Department. Jones will build on the legacy of the department and ensure that graduates have the skills to thrive in a music industry that is ever-changing. He succeeds trombonist Tom Plsek, who served as chair for 25 years. Jones is an internationally acclaimed composer and trumpeter who just released his seventh album as a leader, im•pro•vise = never before seen, on Mack Avenue Records.

“Sean Jones brings an amazing portfolio to Berklee – performances at the highest level with the greatest musicians of his and prior generations, successful teaching experience, personal commitment and integrity as an artist, and a desire to help foster future great contemporary musicians,” said Berklee president Roger H. Brown.  “We are very excited to welcome Sean to our musical family.”

Read more: Sean Jones Named Berklee Brass Chair

Music Business and Education Students Invited to Apply for NAMM’s President’s Innovation Award


The NAMM Foundation encourages students preparing for careers in the music products industry to apply for the NAMM President’s Innovation Award. Awardees receive financial support to attend NAMM’s annual music products trade show, January 22-25, 2015 in Anaheim, CA.

The NAMM President's Innovation Award is open to students currently enrolled in music business and/or music education courses. Award recipients receive $600 to cover the expense of attending the NAMM Show. At the show, awardees participate in Generation Next programs, have countless networking opportunities with music industry leaders, and explore the show.

Read more: NAMM's President's Innovation Award

Educator Anita Collins and animator/director Sharon Colman Graham recently released a TED-Ed video that highlights some of the actual neurological benefits to playing music. Spoiler alert: "Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once." The video is full of similarly powerful soundbytes about the unique and impactful mental benefits of playing music. 

Take a moment to watch it for yourself here:

Read more: How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain: TED-Ed

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