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Good Music Brighter Children: Simple and Practical Ideas to Help Transform Your Child's Life Through the Power of Music Paperback – January 24, 2014
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About the Author
Sharlene Habermeyer, MA, has spent over twenty-five years researching the effects of music in the brain development of young children. She is passionate about how people of all ages learn and how music can be the catalyst for learning. She holds a masters degree in Education from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. In 1999, she started the Palos Verdes Regional Orchestra (now the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra). It currently boasts over one-hundred members. A college instructor, a frequent lecturer, and a consultant, she is the mother of five boys and lives with her husband in Torrance, California. (Contact: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: www.goodmusicbrighterchildren.com)
Top customer reviews
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The thing is, "Good Music Brighter Children" is so well-written.
The author is thorough in her approach to guiding teachers, parents and others through the natural cycle of a child's wonder and experience concerning music. With many personal examples, references to intellectual and educational studies, and ideas for laying the groundwork in the lives of children everywhere, Sharlene Habermeyer paints an artistic, yet practical, path for success. Her children (who have passed along their own grasp of the subject to her grandchildren) are the physical emblems of a lifetime endeavor in promoting the benefits of classical music. Once you read the book, you'll "get it", too. I use this book nearly every day, and keep it nearby for constant reference.
5 star book!!! You Bet!!!
As an avid reader, I try to give five-star ratings sparingly and only when truly deserved. I have two rules for books I give this high rating to: (1) the book must have indefinite "replay value"; in other words, the book must leave me fully willing to read it again; (2) the book must inspire a change in my life in some fundamental way – in the way I live or the way I think. Now that I have finished, I must concede that my mother wrote a book that succeeds on both points.
A few things started happening as I dived into the book. Handel and Bach replaced the silence of my study room. I absorbed myself in recordings of full-length musicals. I messaged a close friend who participates in a local choir, asking him if I might join in the next practice (despite my lackluster vocal skills). The digital piano I have put off buying for over two years suddenly became more of a priority, and I resumed the search. In my experience, rare is the book that can inspire change in the reader so quickly.
This book was originally published in 1999, when I was still in elementary school – when I was too young to have interest in or appreciate it. Now, as a young father trying to start my own family on the right footing, I could not ask for a better legacy from my mother: a testament to the power and importance of art, and, more particularly, of music, in the development of the child, the family, the community, and the world.
The book is ambitious, not content to be merely a how-to guide for parents (though it is that too!). The level of research, including a diverse array of anecdotes gathered from all over the world, is quite impressive (not to mention well documented), and includes discussion on the science behind music’s effect on the brain, the need for advocacy to promote music in our schools and our communities, and how music empowers us to become more creative thinkers in our homes and in the workplace (among other things). While reading I couldn’t help but notice that my mother’s background uniquely prepared her to write this book. As a voracious reader herself, she has combined her knowledge of music, education, science, and business in a way that makes the book feel both relevant and practical. As one prominent review company noted, she writes “with a scientist’s eye and an artist’s voice.”
I studied business in college. In that setting, it was a common occurrence for my peers to make snide remarks about liberal arts majors – those people that “wasted their time and money going to college.” Given the state of the economy, those comments may not be entirely unfounded; however, business-minded people – the so-called practical realists of the world – and really anyone quick to dismiss the liberal arts, would do well to consider their role in spurring innovation and enhancing problem-solving skills. Perhaps one of the greatest insights I gained from reading this book is that music and the arts are not mere pastimes that we pursue to entertain ourselves; rather, the arts are absolutely essential to our development – not only into cultured, well-rounded human beings, but also into high-level, creative thinkers and doers. Investing in the arts is an investment in one’s human capital. As Steve Jobs noted shortly before his death, “Technology alone is not enough . . . It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that make our hearts sing.” (pp. 263)
I cannot recommend this book enough, especially if you are a parent, a music educator, or someone who is simply interested in music for its own sake. As I read, I felt inspired to be a better person. I wanted to be a better husband and father, actively investing more time in building a musical legacy for my children. I wanted to be a better employee and member of society, leveraging music to reach my personal and creative potential. I believe my mother has made a powerful case, established through 15+ years of research and a lifetime of experience as a mother and lover of music.
Most recent customer reviews
I feel like I should have music on while reading or writing this review. Good Music Brighter Children is full of facts, case studies and personal stories about...Read more