Kathleen Kniskern

Does Music Make Kids Smarter?

I remember dozing to the dreamy sounds of my father’s clarinet playing ‘Stardust’. It was just…well, comfortable. Music was everywhere in my home: my father’s big band-leader enthusiasm, my mother’s violin, my grandfather’s greeting in Italian operetta singing ‘anybody home?’ just before the screen door closed.

All five of us siblings received piano lessons from our mother. Good music was all around us, and the passion for it, to me, was understood and yet unexplainable.

Let’s explore this question: Does music make kids smarter?

*Who said this?

“I often think in music…I get most joy out of my violin…I see my life in terms of music…I get most joy in life out of music.” (answer at end of article)

Kathleen Kniskern marched in the 2019 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade with St. Petersburg Second Time Arounders Marching Band

If we define smarter as higher IQ and test scores, specific research supports the theory of “Kids=MusicC2”.

For example, a University of Toronto study has demonstrated that 6-year-olds who took weekly singing or piano lessons increased IQ by nine points. A College Entrance Exam Board survey showed that SAT students who sang or played a musical instrument scored 51 points higher on verbal and 39 points higher or math entrance exams. And, a recent Stanford University study revealed a molecular basis for the “Mozart effect”.

How do I personally see music’s effect? Easy. Music keeps us focused in the here and now, in a fervent, passionate way. In learning and playing music, the immediate feedback we receive and the ability to make immediate corrections is a great skill to develop. Confidence is raised along with one’s level of musicianship. Stage performance, or just plain living room performance with family = preparation for public speaking, or just that extra ease in conversation.

Personally, music keeps a place of gladness in my being.

Here are some things you can do to help music make a difference for your child:

— Sing!  Hold your baby and let him/her feel your vibrations of joy.  Don’t worry about the quality of your voice; your happiness transcends.  Your baby loves you and the music you make.

— Play good music and sing and dance to it with your child.  Or just listen.  Good music is everywhere and includes country, rock, jazz, big band, and, of course classical.  Try the Baby Einstein products.

— Silence is good too, giving your child time to absorb and take it all in.  Constant loud music can provoke anxiety. Just use your own good common sense about sharing music.

Developing that ability, gift, passion or just plain attraction for music is the key to allowing this musical experience to become an integrated, intrinsic part of your being.

Who says music makes kids smarter?  Well, I see it just about every day, and you might just want to ask any young musician’s parent!

Written by,
Kathleen Kniskern, SDA

Kniskern Music House, Inc.

*Answer to “who said this”:

Albert Einstein

(Nobel Prize-winning physicist who developed the famous equation E=MC2)

(Einstein enjoyed Mozart)

Jessica Marcotte

Jessica Marcotte has been with Kniskern Music House since she completed her Bachelor of Science Degree studies at Plattsburg State University. Jessica has a gift for teaching. Her students have had fun learning and, also have continued on with her for years. Both parents and children love Jessica’s approach to teaching and, many times, parents have also taken up instruments with her. Jessica Marcotte teaches guitar, voice, violin, viola and piano. Her students’ performances have been seen by many over the years during their recitals in Malls, Retirement homes and at the Saratoga Arts Center Stage.

In addition, Jessica Marcotte has been involved,with Kniskern Music House, Inc. in developing programming for children with special needs. She has beautifully implemented her skills in this area both in Kniskern Music House Studios and in Helping Hands School, Clifton Park.

Jessica Marcotte is also a composer and performing artist. She is a band leader, solo performer and has performed locally with other groups. Jess’ performances always seem to ‘bring down the house’.

Parents do agree that Jessica Marcotte is a good role model both personally and professionally for her students. There is always a positive, good rapport with all when she is involved.

Kniskern Music House, Inc. has been very blessed to have had Jessica Marcotte as a strong part of this business since it’s opening in 2003.

Jacqueline Bedrey

Jacqueline Bedrey, Kniskern Music House teacher and road representative,  received her BS in Music Education from the College of St. Rose.

Jacqueline is the recipient of many honors which include:

  • Winner of  College of St. Rose’s Concerto Competition
  • Performer with the Modern Music Festival in Saratoga Springs
  • Violin soloist for the Schenectady Light Opera
  • Selected to perform with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria

Jacqueline, a Saratoga Springs HS graduate, comes with wonderful teaching experience to teach viola, violin, cello and piano at Kniskern Music House Studios.

Jacqueline Bedrey