10 Ways that Playing an Instrument Makes You Smarter

10 Ways that Playing an Instrument Makes You Smarter

From early childhood through the golden years, studies have consistently shown that playing an instrument has a positive effect on one’s intelligence. In today’s social media driven society, playing an instrument builds some timeless qualities that may otherwise be lacking. Here are 10 ways that playing an instrument increases intelligence:

1. Playing an instrument builds and strengthens connections between brain cells.

2. Playing an instrument improves memory and the ability to differentiate sounds and speech.

3. Playing an instrument at a young age builds connections between the right and left brain, linking the logical and creative functions.

4. Playing an instrument often forces one to learn to communicate without words.

5. People over the age of 65 who play an instrument for an hour a week improved their hearing, memory, and coordination.

6. Playing an instrument builds self-discipline.

7. Playing an instrument increases one’s attention span.

8. Playing an instrument improves long-term and short-term planning skills.

9. Playing an instrument makes it easier to pick up other languages.

10. Playing an instrument helps build and promote social skills (if taking lessons and/or playing in an ensemble.)

If you already play an instrument, keep going! Grow, learn, and share. If you don’t play an instrument, begin today. Age doesn’t matter. Inquire locally to find out which programs are available.

If you’re a string player and want to improve your music making, attend one of our camps!

Sources: VH1 Save The Music, The Telegraph

11 Ways to Support Your Local Music Education Scene

11 Ways to Support Your Local Music Education Scene

Do you support your local music education scene? Here are some ways to get involved:

1. Attend concerts, even if you don’t know anyone involved. Performing for a large audience can be very encouraging for both students and teachers. Clap hard and don’t be afraid to hoot and holler! The students and teachers have worked hard and will appreciate it. Bonus points for initiating a standing ovation!

2. Volunteer at events. Many programs would appreciate your time as a chaperone, preparing meals at workshops and special events, selling tickets, helping with set-up/clean-up, etc. Bonus points for helping with anything involving water (dishwashing, mopping, laundry)! If you’re a musician, donate your skill by coaching young musicians.

3. Donate new and used instruments. Many music programs have sub-par instruments and can’t afford to update their inventory. There may also be a few promising students who can’t afford an instrument of their own (teachers always know who these students are). Bonus points for repairing broken instruments before donating!

4. Donate money. The financial needs of virtually every music program (public and private) usually outweigh the available budget. Needs include: hall rental, buying instruments, teacher compensation, scholarships, field trips, etc. Bonus points for shaking down your friends!

5. Help recruit by recommending eligible students to sign up for local music programs. Can you hear one of the neighboring children belting out the chorus of the latest Taylor Swift song at 11pm, while you’re trying to sleep? Encourage them to sign up for their school choir. Do you know kids who are “Guitar Hero” experts? Encourage them to sign up for real guitar lessons. Bonus points for having business cards/flyers on hand!

6. If your kid is involved in a music program, encourage them to practice regularly. Teaching a band/orchestra/choir with 15-40 students, playing 4-10 different parts is not an easy task. Help out your local music teachers by making sure your child learns their part. Bonus points for YouTube-ing unfamiliar music!

7. If you like the job that your local music teachers are doing, let them know! Bonus points for thank-you cards and gifts!

8. Host or facilitate a fundraiser. Ask your local music directors where they need help. Trust me, they need help somewhere. Fundraiser recitals, bottle drives, bake sales – big or small, it all helps. Bonus points for promoting heavily (radio, online, newspaper)!

9. Get involved politically. Tell your local and national politicians why music education is important. They seem to forget regularly and need constant reminders. Bonus points for inviting them to attend local events!

10. Talk to school leaders. Attend school board meetings and ensure that arts programs are receiving proper attention and focus. Bonus points for joining a committee!

11. Stay informed. When the local community is not engaged, major cuts to music programs often go unnoticed. Not on your watch! Right??

The Thrive City Music Group offers many music programs to a variety of string players. If you’d like to support us in any way, give us a holler!

written by John Littlejohn

Video – 2013 String Boot Camp Highlights

2013 was a fantastic year for String Boot Camp! Check out some of the highlights from our 2013 Summer String Boot Camp. Be sure to watch all the way through to catch some great performance snippets by our ensembles: The Wire Choir (Intermediate Ensemble), The Virtuosi (Advanced Ensemble), and the Faculty Ensemble. Enjoy, and congratulations to all of the participants. We hope to see you soon!

2013 – August 2 – “Thriving Musicians” – Delta Optimist

2013 – August 2 – “Thriving Musicians” – Delta Optimist
Thriving Musicians
Students given the chance to shine at annual boot camp


The Thrive City String Boot Camp, a program of the Delta Community Music School in Ladner, returns this summer for its third music camp and festival.

Next Monday around 25 violinists, violists and cellists of all ages and abilities will converge in Ladner for two weeks of intensive instruction, improvisation and concerts.

For most of the students in attendance, String Boot Camp is a chance to quickly improve on their instruments but for some, it’s a life changing experience.

“Canada is awesome! I love it!” exclaimed violinist A.J., who is an outreach student from an innercity community in the United States.

Attending last year’s boot camp was his first time flying and his first time in Canada. In addition to being pushed to the limit musically, he also fell in love with the multiculturalism of the Lower Mainland, leaving Canada with a solid month’s supply of seaweed snacks and Pocky.

Alongside A.J., 11 low-income students from the Saint James Music Academy, an outreach music program in the east side of Vancouver, attended the 2012 Boot Camp.

Their attendance was made possible by donations from the Saint James Music Academy and many individuals, including a number of generous Ladner citizens.

“After their time at String Boot Camp, I watched each student grow tremendously on their instruments throughout the next school year at Saint James Music Academy. It’s inspiring to watch them emerge as leaders among their peers,” notes boot camp director John Littlejohn, who is also the string coordinator at the Saint James Music Academy.

Each year, the camp’s faculty, advisors and supporters raise money to provide scholarships for low-income string players who are unable to afford the $750 camp fee.

Between four to six students from the Saint James Music Academy will be at this year’s boot camp, notes Littlejohn.

A few promising string players from Delta will be in attendance as well, including 20-year-old violinist Jeffrey Yamasaki. “I learned how to practice in detail and my rhythm was addressed and improved,” says Yamasaki, who will be attending university in the fall as a violin performance major.

Solarin Harding, a 34-year-old violinist from Sierra Leone, will be attending her third boot camp.

When asked about her camp experience, she replies, “It was difficult at first, but I got used to it.”

The boot camp participants will be presenting four community concerts.

On Tuesday, Aug. 6 at 12 p.m., the boot camp’s award-winning faculty, with special guest violinist Herbert Greenberg, will perform a chamber music concert at All Saints Church (4755 Arthur Dr., Ladner), featuring Felix Mendelssohn’s famous string octet. The second concert, also at All Saints, takes place on Saturday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. and will feature the boot camp faculty in a solo concert, which includes music by Mozart, Bartok, Ysaÿe, Paganini and more.

Infinitus, the string trio in residence, will present the third concert at All Saints on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 12 p.m., which will feature the beat-boxing trio’s signature mash-up of classical, jazz and hip-hop.

The final concert features the headliners of the festival, the students. On Friday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. in the Ladner Community Centre (4734-51st St.), the boot camp students will present a string extravaganza featuring string orchestra works by Corelli, Shostakovich, Vivaldi and more.

Admission is free to all concerts, although donations are encouraged.

For more information on the Thrive City String Boot Camp visit www.thrivecitymusic.com or the Delta Community Music School’s website at www.dcms.ca.

© Copyright (c) Delta Optimist

Read more: http://www.delta-optimist.com/Thriving+musicians/8739807/story.html#ixzz2avykfp5y

2012 – July 20 – “Boot Camp Culminates with Community Performances” – Delta Optimist

2012 – July 20 – “Boot Camp Culminates with Community Performances” – Delta Optimist

Boot camp culminates with community concerts


The spirited chirps of the violin, seductive bellow of the viola and soulful ballad of the cello will resonate throughout Ladner this month as string players from all over come together at the Delta Community Music School to take part in the Thrive City String Boot Camp.

The intensive two-week retreat for intermediate to advanced string players includes musicians from B.C., Alberta and as far away as Michigan, ranging in age from eight to 71.

A few promising string players from Delta will be in attendance, including 71-year-old cellist Judy Pierce.

“This is the first time I’ve played the cello for anyone but my teacher,” says Pierce, whose audition piece was a movement of J.S. Bach’s first cello suite.

Director John Littlejohn started the boot camp during the 2010 Christmas break to help his violin students get the hang of advanced techniques.

The camp quickly expanded to include viola and cello and is gaining in popularity among local string students.

“One of my favourite things about boot camp,” Littlejohn says, “is seeing how the lives of the students change. As they conquer their musical fears, I see their confidence and self-esteem improve.”

This year’s faculty includes the members of Infinitus, a nationally-recognized classical/hip-hop string trio, as well as violinist Jonathan Der from the Delta Youth Orchestra and violist Aaron Au, a former faculty member at the University of Alberta.

As an added bonus, worldrenowned violinist Herbert Greenberg will be travelling from the United States to work with campers.

Greenberg is a member of the violin faculty at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. Many of his former students occupy concertmaster and principal positions in major symphony orchestras throughout the world.

The Thrive City String Boot Camp participants will be presenting three community concerts. On Saturday, July 21 at noon, the faculty will perform a solo concert in the parish of All Saints Anglican Church, 4755 Arthur Dr., Ladner, featuring works by Fritz Kreisler, Arvo Pärt, Zoltán Kodály, JeanMarie Leclair, Johann Hummel and more.

The second concert, also at All Saints, takes place on Saturday, July 28 at noon.

It will feature the boot camp faculty in a chamber music concert, which includes a special performance of Vivaldi’s “Spring” from The Four Seasons by guest violinist Herbert Greenberg.

The final concert features the true stars of the festival: the students.

On Tuesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. in the Ladner Community Centre, campers will present a string extravaganza featuring works by Gustav Holst, Antonio Vivaldi and Leroy Anderson.

Admission is free to all concerts, although donations are encouraged.

For more information on the Thrive City String Boot Camp, visit www.ThriveCityMusic.com or www.dcms.ca.

© Copyright (c) Delta Optimist

Read more: http://www.delta-optimist.com/Boot+camp+culminates+with+community+concerts/6963302/story.html#ixzz2avwCobMl