Why Music Lessons?

I believe music is an integral part of development, for it encourages the development of a well-rounded human being.  Music has been proven to enhance an individual's neurological and cognitive development, which affects growth in other subject areas, such as math and science.  Certain studies reveal an increasing degree of test performance correlation as grade level increased (for elementary school students, with each year of continued music study), revealing the impact of intensive music instruction on the cognitive capacities and academic achievement (Coyle, The Talent Code, 16 - 17).

In addition, through music, individuals are taught the importance of hard work, patience, and determination, which are necessary lifelong skills.  Moreover, music simultaneously encourages teamwork as well as independence, allowing individuals to develop social skills (through large ensembles/chamber groups), while still retaining a strong sense of self (much of practice is done alone).  How music collaboration and solo experiences engage the brain differently are apparent in neuroscientist Larry Parson's experiment: he placed two British rockers in an fMRI scanner and mapped their brain function while they performed together.  Parsons discovered the brain was more active in areas associated with cognitive and emotional interaction while the two were performing together (Mannes, The Power of Music, 38)!!

 Of most importance, perhaps, is music’s development on an individual’s creativity and expression.  Music is tool to express feelings and can, consequently, be used to relieve stress.  According to neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, music releases the neurochemicals dopamine (“the feel good” hormone), prolactin (the comforting hormone), and oxytocin (“the trust hormone”), which indicates why humans react positively to music (Mannes, The Power of Music, 35).  In addition, because music stimulates creativity and encourages children to find beauty and wonder in unusual places, allowing them to perceive the world from a different perspective, a more humanitarian lens, perhaps.  Music is ultimately a tool of growth and should be used as such, because of its significant impact on all areas of life.

Lessons With Mona

For all my students, I stress the importance of fundamentals, and I use various etude studies and the works of Marcel Moyse to develop this.  To further complement the development of fundamentals and to encourage stylistic choices in musical expression and phrasing, music theory, music history, and ear training skills are incorporated into lessons.  In addition, a portion of each lesson will be spent sight reading duets, which encourages sight reading skills and allows students to become accustomed to a more advanced level of playing.  I allow students to choose solo repertoire, which encourages them to explore and discover repertoire on their own.

I also believe that body awareness is very important, and will incorporate stretches as well as discussions about good practice techniques into each lesson, so that students will be efficient in their practice and have the tools to protect themselves from injuries.  Learning music should be fun and inspiring, but 95% of artistry is simply hard work!  I, therefore, aim to create a positive and encouraging environment for all of my students, while still setting challenging goals.  Additionally, I tailor my teaching to fit each student’s needs so that he or she can maximize learning potential.

i currently teach in the greater Boston area and am available to perform for most events.  For more information regarding lessons, rates, or details about music's effect on cognitive development, please contact me at sangeslandm@gmail.com, or use the contact form provided.


30 minute lesson: $30

45 minute lesson: $45

60 minute lesson: $60

A travel fee of $10 shall be added if lessons occur outside my home studio or outside the New England Conservatory. Performance rates are negotiable.