My Recent Article

http://ngazette.com/index.php/latest-issue/ask-the-expert

Perhaps you have read or heard recently of the benefits of learning music at an early age. That is true. Learning to play an instrument at an early age creates many benefits that will last a lifetime. Students who learn music develop more connections across brain hemispheres than those who do not. These connections help improve language and math skills, as music students are better able to use executive functions (memory, reasoning, problem solving and planning) in the brain. Researchers are finding that these connections have lasting benefits and help combat cognitive deterioration later in life.

However, it is never too late to learn! These connections can still be made and are useful to aging adults! Researchers are finding that these connections may be made stronger through music learning and practice later in life. At the University of South Florida, Tampa, a group of students age 60 to 85 were given six months of individual piano lessons and showed gains in memory, verbal fluency and planning ability. All of these executive functions are attributed to a better quality of life.

Playing and learning music is akin to playing your Sudoku puzzles, an aerobic workout, and listening and processing language all at once! It’s a perfect formula for your reasoning, memory, and coordination skills to work in tandem; it’s the only activity humans do that executes these skills all at once rather than one at a time. Plus, you will be learning and creating beautiful music all at the same time!

In for the long haul
Learning and playing music is a commitment. Gainful progress in the executive functions is best kept up with many years of learning and practice. As a new music student, you will be able to play and read music within a few weeks, but that is just the beginning of the journey that music lessons provide. With the right instructor, you are led to new types of music, music history and music theory – all key components for a well-rounded music education.

Finding what’s right for you
There are many avenues to take when finding a music instructor. You can do a basic Google search, call up your local music store, or simply ask your friends. Many music teachers love teaching adults, since adults want to be in lessons and want to do well. Find a teacher who will be understanding of your busy schedule and will help you progress in your own way. Lessons in the Denver metro area range from $25-$30 per 30-minute lesson. However, group classes may be another avenue to explore. They are usually less expensive, and you make a few friends along the way!

Give yourself a gift that will last a lifetime. The gift of music!

Laura Lizut, is a Wheat Ridge-based piano teacher who holds a Masters in Music. She has more than 10 years’ experience teaching children and adults, and teaches adult group classes at Rockley Music Center in Lakewood.

Costume Play-In

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On Sunday I hosted my first play-in party of the year. Since it was around Halloween time, I invited the students to play in their costumes! The critters and fairies featured here did a great job playing for each other.  We had an extra audience member – my baby Eric. He loved watching the girls play and was giving them a round of applause during their performances!

 

This is just a sneak peak for what’s to come. I can’t wait for our winter recital!

 

-Laura

Let’s Play!

A recent Christmas tradition in my house is to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the wonderful Jimmy Stewart. At one point of the film, his daughter is practicing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” for their Christmas party. I commented on her fabulous technique and joked about what a stellar student she probably was!

A few weeks later, I then came across a photo of Mr. Stewart himself  playing the piano!

Jimmy Stewart

This led to a conversation with my husband about how pianos used to be part of the family household. A piece of furniture that you could simply not live without.  We both grew up with one in our house, and that led to piano  lessons as kids and a gift we hold for the rest of our lives…the gift of music!  We now have our own piano in our house to play and teach off of, and could not be happier with the newest member of the family!

piano

 

Having this gift of music is like having a little pal around that you can put in your pocket and take out when the time arises. It reminds me of a time we were dining and visiting with our potter friend Theo. You can find his fabulous work here. He had a wonderful piano in his studio and my husband and I took turns at the piano playing and we all took part in singing songs.

This experience took me back to an era long ago, back before we were all constantly plugged in, with a screen or two in front of our face. The joy of sharing one the most beautiful human experiences we can have…sharing in making music!

If you are a seasoned musician, or a new student just learning, go out and enjoying playing your instrument.

 

Don’t take for granted the key word in all of this. PLAY!

 

Let’s PLAY!

Neuroplasticity

“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning”

― Plato

Yet another reason why music is important for both young and old! Fascinating article. A little heady, but worth a read. Give yourself a pat on the back fellow musicians! You are doing great things for your brain!

http://www.frontiersin.org/Journal/Abstract.aspx?s=537&name=human%20neuroscience&ART_DOI=10.3389/fnhum.2014.00035

Bravissimo!

Thanks to all who participated in our first recital of the academic year! 

It was such a nice experience to listen to all the various talents being shared that evening. My students have done a lot of good work in such a short time since I have returned from maternity leave. I enjoyed the casual atmosphere and the many versions of Jingle Bells! 😉

Our Spring Recital will be determined soon and I hope many more of you will participate! This recital will be more formal in that unless performed with me, the pieces performed will be memorized. I believe this makes a more secure performance since there is no need to look up at the music if lost!

My husband commented that everyone had a nice time at the event, including baby Eric! I attest this to the amazing families and children that I get to work with!

Thank you for letting me be a part of your children’s musical journey!

I hope those of you who went to Casa Bonita after the event enjoyed!

Musically Yours,

Laura Lizut

 

Recital January 11th

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all were able to have a restful break and are ready to get back into the swing of things! I can’t wait to see what this new year has in store!

 

Just a reminder that our studio recital is this Saturday at  6:15 PM at

Rockley Music Center                                                                                              8555 West Colfax Ave. Lakewood, CO 80215

I look forward to listening to an evening of great music!

 

Sincerely,

Laura