Saturday, August 2, 2003

Kids cultivate math, science abilities in Music Garden



By Anna Guido
Enquirer contributor

Children singing songs, rafting down the Little Miami River and learning Ohio history may actually be helping themselves become more proficient at math and science.

"Children learn through their body; and if you can engage the whole body, you are engaging the entire child musically," said Amanda Curell, owner and instructor of Miss Amanda's Music Garden, located at Calvary Episcopal Church in Clifton.

Today, Curell will take students and their families and friends on a river rafting journey as part of the school's summer music education program. Along the way, rafters will beach at a portage to hear a Native American flute player and to hunt for trilobites, Ohio's state fossil.

Studies have shown that music education dramatically increases early brain development and overall academic performance.

One of the most important studies linking music and intelligence is the Shaw/Rauscher Report, conducted in 1997 by the University of California-Irvine. Study results showed that music education enhances abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math and science.

Curell said her program capitalizes on what is known about the effects of music on early child brain development, and one of her goals is to strengthen children's natural affinity for music.

Fourteen families are expected to participate in today's rafting trip, including Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor John Morris Russell and his 4-year-old son, Jack. "Music teaches much more than music," Russell said. "It teaches self discipline, sensitivity, teamwork - these are the types of things we're trying to create in our society to make good citizens."

Anne Wallace, a Cincinnati child psychologist, is planning to take her two children - Ellie, 5, and David, 2 - on the trip. "I have a real love for music appreciation and nature, and Amanda incorporates those two things wonderfully," Wallace said.

Curell opened her school last fall and offers classes to children up to age 9. Enrollment is about 100. Curell has an undergraduate degree in folklore/mythology from Harvard and is seeking a master's degree in Montessori education from Xavier.

About the school

Miss Amanda's Music Garden school, which serves children up to age 9, is broken into three terms - summer, fall and winter/spring.

Average length of sessions is 12-15 weeks (with classes held once a week). Tuition varies depending on age of child. Fall rates have not been determined. An open house will be held 1-6 p.m. Sept. 6.

For information, call Amanda Curell at 221-SING (7464).

E-mail annag1129@cs.com




TOP STORIES
Man charged in arson at OSU
City, country kids cross paths
Young minister killed in crash

IN THE TRISTATE
Gays will try to aid prosecutor in death
Weekend fare offers gators, artists' wares
Downtown gets back an old favorite
Picture of the day: Batesville soldier buried at Arlington
Tristate A.M. Report

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Howard: Some good news
McNutt: Neighborhoods

BUTLER, WARREN, CLERMONT
Slain woman's children sue homicide suspect, gun owner
State questions drug program
Mason fire tax on Tuesday ballot
Mason closes pool to fix hydraulics
Kids cultivate math, science abilities in Music Garden
Blessings, 4 at once, worth it, moms gasp

OBITUARIES
Tom Potter quietly helped football team, sports events
Jack M. Watson, 94, led CCM to modern renown

OHIO
Ohio colleges ready to report status of their foreign students
Hospitals make ER worth the wait
Ohioan may face execution in Texas
Ohio Moments

KENTUCKY
Two-vehicle crash kills woman, injures 3 others
Parents, kids all at same school
Voters promised war on meth, economic fix
Teacher fired for promotion of hemp to receive $70,000
Prosecution wraps up in Major murder trial
Kentucky obituaries
Appointee didn't disclose pay
Couple faces charges in child-pornography case
N.Ky. planning $13M river walk