The Power of Music Lessons in the Development of the Complete Human Intelligence.
Doctor Christopher Kaufman
To put it directly, as a classical music based teacher of music, I am a practitioner of the results of hundreds of years of experimentation in the development of the ‘complete human intelligence’. I focus on the teaching of children, kids…or ‘young people’ as I like to put it. I am careful not to talk down to them and they appreciate me for it. I also help parents create home-based music classrooms.
Forget the fads. The benefits of music, as delivered in weekly lessons by teachers such as myself who operate on the ‘artist model’, over a period of years, are supported by the purest and most direct science.
Above, I used the phrase, ‘the complete human intelligence’, let me explain.
The definition of intelligence is the ‘cooperation of the various ‘sub-intelligences’ for the benefit of the whole’. For a single-celled creature these intelligences are things like cell division. We have the human version.
We have three brains in our head. Each governs a different sub-intelligence. The first governs the physical intelligence – i.e. taste, touch, sound, smell, vision and our human connections with all those things which are interconnected with the other realms of intelligence. In the ‘second brain’ resides the emotional intelligence – emotions, dream content, archetypal imagery and the rest. In the third brain you have the intellect and the large area difficult to put words to. For our purposes, I call it the artistic intuition, or the ‘part that puts it all together’. There are other intelligences as well, such as the spiritual, but those are beyond words to describe.
Now imagine a child – or anyone – playing a clarinet. The intellect reads the music and processes through the physical intelligence as the player presses the key, holds the body erect, compresses the lips about the reed just right and blows air through the instrument. They play the same passage until learned and then achieve the emotion the music is intended to convey. This, by the way, is why a student must practice ‘enough‘ 🙂 If they don’t reach emotion, they do not feel the music, therefore it stays in the realm of ‘washing the dishes’. If they do reach that place, they want more and more, like food, and it nourishes them. They learn how to learn.
Additionally, in my system of teaching, there is creativity and improvisation, thus covering all the bases in a holistic approach I consider more close to the ways the old masters taught music than approaches which do not include composition. The idea that a music student would not play the music of their time and not compose their own music was foreign to them.
By following the process described above, it is well proven and understood that there are clear and demonstrable benefits to the development of the complete human intelligence. There are many articles on it. Again – excluding fads. We’re talking years of music lessons stimulating cognitive functions of the brain.
To this you may add the following:
Achievement of goals over a period of years – for example, going from learning the keys of the piano to playing Fur Elise years later.
Lateral Thinking – when skills are combined and demonstrated and grown through creative work and well-designed improvisation scenarios.
The team spirit of performing in an ensemble.
Learning how to learn – techniques of learning musical skills can translate into everything else and give a student an edge whatever they choose to major in later.
Getting used to demonstrating knowledge in front of others. In my system we do living room concerts’ which are friendly in nature, not too long and include a pot-luck style party. Students associate positive emotions with the entire process.
Development of imagination, where all things begin.
Thank you for listening,
Doctor Kaufman (I have a Doctorate in Music Composition from Cornell University, continue an active career as a creative artist centering in music composition and have been following my calling to work with young people for over 20 years).
TO find my book and teaching system based on the above principles (and where I can help you develop your home-based musical classroom) titled “The Musical Forest” – go HERE:
TO visit my teaching studio (I teach private lessons in Brooklyn) go HERE:
TO see my work presenting music and art to family audiences (next event 12/02/2018), go HERE:
TO see my work as a serious composer, go HERE:
TO visit my teaching resumé, go HERE:
TO visit my environmental works, go HERE: