Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I took in my first Christmas concert of the season last evening at Holy Heart. Aidan is a member of the Holy Heart of Mary Chamber Choir.

The Holy Heart Concert Band, Jazz Band, String Orchestra, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Girls Choir, Boys Choir and a couple of solos made for some great performances. We have some amazing talent.

It just seems like yesterday that we were crowding into the gym at Mary Queen of Peace or Virginia Park Elementary to attend those primary and elementary concerts.  The kids were so cute. They were just learning to carry a note or play an instrument.  Sometimes the concerts could be pretty brutal.

It is not unlike watching Liam play all-star Pee Wee Hockey compared to the days of early house league. Those early days could be so brutal to watch. Now the games are fast, the kids know their positions and the game flows.

10 years later watching these young adolescents play an amazing array of instruments and songs is simply awesome. The synchronicity of the Jazz Band and the String Orchestra simply blew me away. What a delight! We are so fortunate to have such talent and dedication.

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited along with Pop Maloney to a special performance at the MUN School of Music in honor of scholarship winners and patrons. We presented the Pat & Mary Maloney Scholarship. Once again, I was struck by the talent, dedication and the pursuit of excellence of these post-secondary students.

Stanford University research has found for the first time that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word, a finding that researchers say could lead to improving the reading ability of children who have dyslexia and other reading problems ‘Especially for children ... who aren't good at rapid auditory processing and are high-risk for becoming poor readers, they may especially benefit from musical training.’

Musicians are constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling – training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attention skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression

Listening, watching and enjoying the culmination of years of training, practice and lessons only solidifies my own commitment to advocacy to ensure that music continues to receive the necessary resources our kids deserve to have. 

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