Train Your Brain With Music

BY Jessica Segal

Music changes lives. Research has proven that performing music is one of the few activities that activate all four cortexes of the brain. It has also been proven that music improves the sections of the brain that assist in reading, math and abstract reasoning—which are key sections on the Keystone Exams, SATs, and ACTs according to Mr. Gilson, Music teacher and band director.

If that is not enough of a reason for everyone to rush to the guidance office and ask for a schedule change—there is more. Listening to music of complexity (i.e. Classical music) temporarily raises one’s I.Q. Plus, it is a great outlet for stress.

Music teacher, Mr. Gilson, is a prominent advocate of music and the performing arts for FLB. It is possible for everyone to learn to play an instrument or sing. He says, “People who say they can’t [learn to play an instrument or sing] are the people who never tried or didn’t try with the right attitude.” Look at music with a positive attitude, and playing any instrument or learning to sing will be a piece of cake.

Senior and musician Sean Mitchell has taken fifteen music classes over the course of middle and high school. He is taking these classes because he wants to have a career in music, but he says, “Music classes aren’t just for music majors.” Anybody can take a music class and enjoy the fun activity that gives your brain a workout.

So why are we ignoring music? Academics are not the only important thing in life. It is important to exercise the entire brain. Many students believe that to get into the college they want, they have to focus only on their academics. “Colleges want to see that you are involved in the arts,” Mr. Gilson counters.

Even after college, the arts and music play an indirect but important role. “To be truly successful in the workforce you need to be creative,” remarks Mr. Gilson. A lot of the jobs wanting employees recently are jobs requiring creativity. And what helps more with creativity than music?

This year the offered music courses are Concert Band, Orchestra, Concert Choir, Jazz Band, Music Theory, and Vocal Ensemble. Since schedules are set for this year, make sure to sign up for music next year.

In the meantime, check out Student Forums. Every Friday tutorial in the auditorium unless otherwise noted. Get a ticket from Mr. Gilson, show it to your teacher, and then come to the auditorium and enjoy a variety of performances from singing to instrument playing to dancing. Or get involved! As long as Mr. Gilson approves the piece, any student may perform during a Student Forum.