LPA is devoted to using the classical model of education, including the Trivium as a means for information dissemination. We use research-based methods, designed to enhance a child’s natural learning capability. We further recognize that music education and the arts in general, are research-based methods that enhance learning and can improve a student’s ability to create, think and reason (1). Studies have also shown that music enhances the “hardware” or neural pathways in the brain that control spatial-temporal reasoning.
Yehudi Mehunin, a famous conductor and musician said, “Music creates order out of chaos; for rhythm imposes unanimity upon the divergent, melody imposes continuity upon the disjointed, and harmony imposes compatibility upon the incongruous.”
According to the M.I.N.D. Institute in Southern California at the University of California at Irvine, studies based on a mathematical model of the cortex predicted that early music training would enhance spatial-temporal reasoning. A 1997 study indicated that preschool children given six months of piano keyboard lessons improved dramatically on such reasoning (2). There are two types of reasoning: spatial-temporal (S.T.) and language-analytic (L.A.). Both types of reasoning are crucial to how we think, create and reason. Our brain often goes back and forth between the two types. L.A. for example, often would be more involved as we solve equations and come to some sort of quantitative answer. S.T. is used, for example, in chess, when we have to think several moves ahead. Some key reasoning features in S.T. are:
- the transformation and relating of mental images in space and time,
- symmetries of the inherent cortical firing patterns used to compare physical and mental images, and
- natural temporal sequences of those cortical patterns (1).
Therefore it is shown that S.T. thinking is crucial in math and other problem solving situations (such as understanding action and consequence) that have been typically difficult to teach using the typical L.A. methods. Music once again, can do much to mature a child’s mind to be able to grasp such difficult concepts at a young age. Time and time again studies show that strategic neural pathways are created that “build-in” the ability of the brain to form these S.T. reasoning centers and therefore enhance a child’s brainpower. Some studies indicate even an increase of 40 points on standardized exams, which is more than the increase seen with computer-enhanced training (3).
Dr. Gordon Shaw, Professor Emeritus of Physics at UCI and co-founder of the M.I.N.D. Institute said, “Music will not only help us understand how we think, reason and create, but will enable us to learn how to bring each child’s potential to its highest level.”
It is therefore our duty to ensure that every child not only learns, but learns at their highest level, feeling successful, accomplished and proud of their mastery. Music and other research based models for learning are employed by LPA to their highest degree.
Just as our musicians learn notes and scales, art students learn necessary skills to translate their perception onto paper. At LPA we teach a drawing process that helps students learn to focus and concentrate, make decisions, sequence, solve problems and develop eye-hand coordination. According to the College Board, SAT scores for students who studied the arts for more than four years were 59 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math.
- Grandin T, Peterson M, Shaw GL. Spatial-temporal versus language-analytic reasoning: the role of music training. Arts Education Policy Review, 1998; 99:11.
- Graziano, A., Peterson, M., Shaw, G., Enhanced learning of proportional math through music training and spatial-temporal training. Neurological Research, 1999; 21:139-152.
- Green, M., 1999, President National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Grammy Awards Speech.