- Elena Šešelgytė is a professional pianist, graduated from the Brussels Royal Conservatory - Master's degree
- Elena also participated in ICPA Piano courses. ICPA (International Certificate Artists Piano) - is one of the world's finest pianists program that provides a very wide range of concert opportunities
- Elena had concerts in Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Belgium, France, USA
BENEFIT OF MUSIC
Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.
Playing an instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once — especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices. As in any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions, allowing us to apply that strength to other activities.
Playing music has been found to increase the volume and activity in the brain’s corpus callosum — the bridge between the two hemispheres — allowing messages to get across the brain faster and through more diverse routes. This may allow musicians to solve problems more effectively and creatively, in both academic and social settings.
Because making music also involves crafting and understanding its emotional content and message, musicians also have higher levels of executive function — a category of interlinked tasks that includes planning, strategizing, and attention to detail, and requires simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects.
This ability also has an impact on how our memory systems work and, indeed, musicians exhibit enhanced memory functions — creating, storing, and retrieving memories more quickly and efficiently. Studies have found that musicians appear to use their highly connected brains to give each memory multiple tags, such as a conceptual tag, an emotional tag, an audio tag, and a contextual tag — like a good internet search engine.
Humans are are born with billions of brain cells called neurons. The number of neurons largely remain unchanged throughout a person's life, brain function being affected mainly by the connections these neurons make, and specifically by the strength and number of these neural connections. Such connections are stimulated in response to an individual's environment, being exposed to music at a young age and in particular classical music favors the development of what some neuroscientists refer to as a "musical brain". This is characterized by improved learning abilities, pattern recognition, spatial abilities, problem solving and overall intelligence, with the learning of an instrument having the greatest effect on all of these functions. Specifically, research has shown that children who studied piano for six months have 30% improved scores in spatial thinking and puzzle solving tasks.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Parents should root the love of music already from babyhood, as this primes the brain for future listening and practice. Here are some ideas for doing so:
Play music for your baby. Introduce your baby to diverse musical styles. If you play an instrument, practice it with your baby. Sing for your baby, no matter how you sing. Singing will not only contribute to developing your child's musical capacities, but also in the process of language acquisition.
Babies love different rhythms and their variations, they are able to recognise a wide range of tunes just while listening to them.
Sing with your child. As children grow, they will be delighted to sing along with you.
Start music lessons as early as possible. If you would like your child to learn to play, it is not necessary to wait until the start of primary school, as a infant's brain is very receptive to learning music. Children's musicianship provide immense pleasure and contributes to the development of love for music and the arts, as well as emotional intelligence in general.
Given an appropriate exposure and priming, you may offer your child the possibility of choosing an instrument from as soon as four years old, but this should never be imposed or forced onto a child. This may otherwise develop an adverse disposition and even opposition from the child as they develop their own individuality, and this despite having gained the cognitive benefits. This may ultimately result in a sense of lack in the individual. Trust that if you expose your children to music from a young age, they will eventually and voluntarily ask to deepen their connection with music through the practice of an instrument.