Dear Parents,
Last week’s concerts highlighted a most important gift for our children, music. A highlight was when one of our senior students, performed violin for her IB music portfolio – marvelous. Most impressive were the spellbound students in the audience. Hopefully, she inspires them to continue playing music. 
Our “high tech” lives are spent engaged with technologies that often require very low skills. It doesn’t take much to learn how to manipulate a cell phone. Want proof? Watch how quickly toddlers learn how to use an iPad. I’m not advocating for no technology, rather not allowing high tech to displace other important skills. In our Maker Space class, High School students are challenged to make a simple perfect wooden square, with four 90 degree corners. Low tech, but highly challenging.
Musical instruments are low, old technology. Violins have been around for half a millennium. But they require high skills to master, years of practice. Likewise, for any musical instrument. Studies show learning a musical instrument increases gray matter volume in various brain regions and strengthens long-range connections between these. This video explains how few activities stimulate more of the brain than playing music. Music is used to treat Alzheimer’s and Parkinson Disease and enhances verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills. Stanford University researchers found playing music increases ability to pay attention. There is a reason Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (STEM) has expanded to STEAM, to include the ARTS. The arts support learning in all the other disciplines. 
Thank you for supporting your children learning music and all the other arts. Have a great week and hopefully time to reflect on how fortunate we all are during our Thanksgiving holiday.