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Gift for the Ages



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December 12, 2012 - When your kids run downstairs to check the tree on Christmas morning, what will they find?

Did Santa bring them the latest attention-diverting gizmo that'll be outdated before Valentine's Day? Perhaps old St. Nick brought socks and thermal underwear, those time-worn crowd-pleasers.

But perhaps you're the type of parent that knows how to stuff a stocking with a blessing that's sure to keep on giving. What gifts will continue to pay dividends your child's entire life?

There's a reason Plato said "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." But even if your child doesn't churn out the next Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, music lessons are a great gift idea.

Why? Educators have long noted the link between music instruction and the development of certain intelligences in a child. Additionally, music ensembles are an avenue for teaching teamwork and spiking confidence. A child who is encouraged to let his or her voice resonate is a child on the way to self-assurance.

Music education can also be seen as a passport of sorts, allowing your child to interact with minds from other times and cultures. The common language of music bridges many artificial barriers erected, fostering peace where strife and fear reign.

Not interested in opening your son or daughter's mind to broad historical currents? Music can unite a family like little else. To coin a phrase, the family that plays (music) together, stays together.

Because of music, a child is encouraged.

Through music, a child can enter a tradition that extends beyond history. By music, a child is entertained while challenged.

With music, a child sees himself or herself as someone who belongs here and whose contribution is valid and valued. But without music, we are all lessened.

So this Christmas think not of your children as they are now, but as they will be after a life of music.

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Donald Turner
The Oxford Leader
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