Welcome to Simeon’s School of Music. We offer lessons in:
Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Piano/Keyboard, Bass Guitar, Drums, Theory, VCE Exam Preparation and ANZCA/AMEB Exam Preparation
“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy” – Beethoven
We are located in Brunswick West and specialise in music lessons for all ages, styles and experience levels. Our mission is to create life-long students of music. Our programs are tailored to each individual student but with always the same intentions: to inspire, motivate, positively challenge and to help every student discover their musical potential.
Why Should I Learn Music?
There is a wealth of research on the effects music has on a child’s development, physically and mentally. For instance, playing a musical instrument activates more areas of the brain at the same time than any other activity. The more these areas are exercised, the stronger the neural connections become. Not only do the brain connections become stronger, but there are more of them, thus increasing one’s capacity for learning.
Anders Ericsson is a psychologist who has studied musicians and the effect learning an instrument long-term has on their brains. An excerpt from his book Peak:
“In musicians, the region of the brain controlling the hand was significantly larger and the brain regions controlling the fingers had taken over a section that was normally devoted to the palm. The earlier you start, the greater the expansion. The cerebellum is larger, there is more grey matter in the somatosensory region (touch and other senses), the superior parietal region (sensory input from the hand) and the pre-motor cortex (planning movements and guiding movement in space).”
The research also shows that musicians have physically bigger brains that are more well-connected. The corpus callosum, the strip of tissue that connects the two hemispheres, is also bigger in musicians, indicating that the two halves of the brain are better at communicating with each other than in non-musicians. The difference music can make as a form of therapy to the quality of life for stroke victims and those with Alzheimer’s disease, autism, anxiety and depression are truly astounding.
Apart from bringing joy to so many people, music can also have surprising positive effects on day-to-day life. ARIA award winner Megan Washington stutters when she speaks. When she sings, it is impossible to stutter. This is due to different (and more!) areas of the brain being used when singing compared to speaking. The Thing Is, I Stutter: Megan Washington
For more information on the effects music has on the brain here is a wonderful article summing up the findings of many musical studies along with where they were originally published.
How Long Will It Take Me To Learn?
There is a ‘rule’ that is generally accepted amongst musicians, athletes and artists but is relevant to almost any skill; It takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill (concept developed by, yes, again, Anders Ericsson). We believe this to be true. 10,000 hours equates to roughly 2 hours and 45 mins of practice every day for ten years. While this is achievable for some, it is unrealistic for most.
The reality is, there is a difference between being a master at something and being good at something. Becoming good at music, with the right guidance, does not take nearly as long as one might think. While it does take consistent, daily practice, the hours and decades come later – to the serious musician who aims to become a master (not a bad goal to have!).
One of the beautiful things about being a student of music is that you will be learning for your entire lifetime. While this may initially sound uninspiring, there is always something new to be learnt. That is what makes it exciting. Music becomes enjoyable for the intrinsic value of learning a new skill and being better at something today than you were yesterday. While, everyone develops at a different rate, we recommend committing to music lessons for a minimum of two years to be able to play with ease.
So what does it take to learn a musical instrument? Patience, attention, persistence, practice and time. Some of these traits are more prevalent in certain people, such as one’s patience threshold, attention span and willingness to persist through difficulties. However, we believe that these skills are learnable through music (it’s like a chicken and egg-type situation). Paying attention in the lessons, focussing on a specific goal, trial and error, practicing at home, getting feedback at the next lesson and understanding that it will take time are all directly strengthening these skills.