- Tel. (+ 33) 1 45 78 01 75 - Conservatory
- Tel. (+ 33) 1 45 78 01 75 - Kindergarten
- Tuesday: 15h30 - 18h30
- Wednesday: 10h00 - 18h00
- Thursday: 15h30 - 18h30
- Lunch break: Wednesdays only from 12h45-13h30
- We are closed during French school vacations.
American Conservatory & Kindergarten
- 33, rue Fondary | 75015 Paris | France
- M° La Motte Picquet Grenelle (lines 6, 8 & 10)
- or Emile Zola (line 10)
- Bus: 42 and 80
- View map on Google
- 2 rue Auguste Bartholdi | 75015 | Paris | France
- M° La Motte Picquet Grenelle (lines 6, 8 & 10)
- or Dupleix (line 6)
- View map on Google
Neuroscience & Music
The extraordinary recent findings in the neuroscience community have reinforced our conviction that music is a necessary aspect of a child’s development. Studies are showing that the earlier music and language practice begin, the more powerful are the effects.
Joan Koenig has been actively researching this exciting field, meeting Neuroscientists both in France and in the United States. She is finding the scientific backing for what she has been practicing intuitively for 27 years.
These are but some of the exciting findings that FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) can confirm.
Ear training and the development of high-level relative pitch and perfect pitch result in an augmentation of the Corpus Callosum, the bundle of neural fibers that serves as messengers between the left and right hemispheres.
The Hippocampus where several forms of memory is located is simply bigger among musicians; there is a direct correlation between its size, and the number of years and precocity of musical practice. Scientists are now suggesting that development of the Hippocampus in early childhood could reduce the chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in later life
The Prefrontal cortex, responsible for executive decisions, reasoning and judgment is more developed among musicians; there is a direct correlation between the cortex size, and the number of years and precocity of musical practice. The development our Prefrontal Cortex is one of the elements that distinguishes our brains from those of other mammals.
During a musically creative moment, (improvisation) the same prefrontal cortex, the judgmental, self monitoring part of our brains, literally lets go of its control and allows other part of the brain to experiment and create. Musical improvisation concerns multiple regions of the brain, including the Broca area, responsible for language.
Creative musical activity monitored during an FRMI scan show heightened activity in multiple areas of the brain.
Communication (musical dialogue) between two musicians when observed with the FRMI shows heightened activity in the Broca area (language center) of the brain, hence confirming the hypothesis of a link between language and music.
And now, L’Ecole Koenig’s conclusions!
Our schools have now worked with several thousand children, and our results show clearly that:
The majority of children are capable of developing a sophisticated sense of pitch. Even children who only have one class per week can sing and name a note played on the piano, without a reference point.
Children as young as 3 years old demonstrate a stable pulse and can read simple rhythms with understanding and precision.
At the age of five, most children can sight sing a simple melody on a staff, in tune and in rhythm.
Children can improvise at a very early age. Improvisation leads to a desire to learn how music is organized and written.
Children can understand subtle musical concepts such as tonality and nuance as early as 2 years of age.
Many children develop ‘perfect pitch’, given appropriate training and encouragement at an early age.
Music serves as a vehicle for language acquisition. Children learn a second and sometimes a third language effortlessly.
If you would like to read more about Neuroscience and music, the following is a list of books, articles, and you tube links.
Charles Limb scans a brain during jazz improvisation:
Antonio Damasio speaks about the function of music versus visual stimulus
Julie Burstein speaks about creativity in general
Emmanuel Bigand Le Cerveau Mélomane (Paris: Editions Belin 2013)
Bernard Chevalier Le Cerveau de Mozart (Paris: Editions Odile Jacob 2003)
Antonio Damasio Looking for Spinoza – Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain
(New York: 2003 Harcourt )
Daniel J. Levitin This Is Your Brain on Music (New York: Penguin 2006)
Oliver Sacks Musicophilia-Tales of Music and the Brain (New York: Alfred A. Knopf 2007)
The human nature of culture and education
Colwyn Trevarthen, Maya Gratier and Nigel Osborne
Human cultures educate children with different strategies. Ancient huntergatherers 200,000 years ago, with bodies and brains like our own, in bands of a hundred well-known individuals or less, depended on spontaneous cooperative practice of knowledge and skills in a natural world. Before creating language, they appreciated beautiful objects and music. Anthropologists observe that similar living cultures accept that children learn in playful ‘intent participation’. Large modern industrial states with millions of citizens competing in a global economy aim to instruct young people in scientific concepts and the rules of literacy and numeracy deemed important for employment with elaborate machines. Our psychobiological theories commonly assume that an infant starts with a body needing care and emotional regulation and a mind that assimilates concepts of objects by sensorimotor action and requires school instruction in rational principles after several years of cognitive development. Evidence from archeology and evolutionary anthropology indicates that Homo sapiens are born with an imaginative and convivial brain ready for the pleasure of shared invention and with a natural sense of beauty in handmade objects and music. In short, there are innate predispositions for culture for practicing meaningful habits and artful performances that are playfully inventive and seductive for companionship in traditions, and soon capable of grasping the clever purpose of shared tasks and tools. This knowledge of inventive human nature with esthetic and moral
sensibilities has important implications for educational policy in our schools.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Time to Focus on the World’s Youngest Children
FROM GUEST ON DECEMBER 3, 2014
By Joan Lombardi
From Kampala to Kingston; Delhi to Denver; and São Paulo to Santiago, giving children a strong start in life is critical to not only the growth and development of individuals, but also the growth and development of nations.
As the child mortality rate continues to decline, a new interest in the healthy development of young children has become the next frontier in health care, social protection and education. We need to continue to improve the chances that children survive, as we move forward to help all young children thrive.
We are leaving behind the outdated adage that education begins at the school house door, and instead are embracing the reality that learning begins at birth. Through innovative and integrated development programs and policies, we are bringing together all sectors that affect our children and are caring for the whole child and family.
In countries around the world, public awareness about the lasting impact of investing in early childhood is growing; national plans are emerging, evidence is mounting.
At the Grand Challenges Annual Meeting in October, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new set of Grand Challenges, including a focus on both women and girls, and on helping children thrive. President Obama recently announced the White House Summit on Early Education on December 10th, bringing together leaders and stakeholders from across the United States working to help children get off to a strong start.
Experts from around the world recently gathered in Brazil to discuss how to best reach more young children and families with effective programming and investment. The Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally brought together leaders from education, health, social protection and development to identify the best practices across science, policy and financing. In São Paulo, experts explored global and national research as well as innovative solutions to promote healthy development.
Broader understanding of the importance of the first years of life in relation to long-term health, opportunity and well-being is finally “coming of age.”
And yet so much remains to be done. As we work to improve access to education and early childhood development, we must also ensure that a child enters school ready to succeed. When we improve our social protection and economic policies to support parents, reduce domestic violence and ensure a child’s safety, we are helping children thrive not only today but in the future. A lack of access to quality health care diminishes a family’s basic ability to survive. By integrating community health workers and behavior change programs, we work with families to understand their health options, improve access to services and support their parenting.
We’ve seen the impact our actions can have across individual sectors. We have the tools and services to care for the whole family; now is the time to integrate our successes into one global agenda to best serve families and help our children thrive. We must begin here:
· Put a holistic approach to health, education and social protection for young children at the center of post-2015 sustainable development goals;
· Expand public investments and national policies to increase the availability and accessibility of integrated services to those in the greatest need;
· Increase multilateral and bilateral investments in young children, including early education and family support; and
· Work with the private sector to increase their time and investments in communities throughout the world.
We recognize the opportunities to work across generations to improve opportunities not just for children, but for their families. The hope of stemming inequality rests with our willingness to provide opportunity right from the earliest years of life. In a world divided, it is time to come together around a common cause that can unite us, one that can ring in a new era of peace and one that can build on the world’s greatest resource—its children.
Joan Lombardi, Ph.D. is an international expert on child development and social policy. Over the past 40 years she has made significant contributions to the development of early childhood and family support policies as an innovative leader and advisor to national and international organizations and foundations and as a public servant. She currently serves as an advisor to the Bernard van Leer Foundation as well as the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, and as a member of the Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally.