As a teenager, my dad often reminded people (including me): "If a kid plays a musical instrument, he or she will also be a straight-A student." I asked him about this statement the other day. He said that when he and my mom met my sister's violin teacher for the first time she said to them, "You are giving me your daughter, and when she is through taking violin lessons from me, you will not only have a daughter who can play the violin beautifully, but you will also have a straight-A student." Needless to say, that prophesy was fulfilled, my dad was convinced, and the statement became doctrine.
During high school, I thought my dad was just saying that, (and especially after discovering his theory was based merely on evidence from one research subject), but then I found this article. It is about how mothers apply what they learned in college to teaching their children at home. It includes a story about a mom that did research during her undergraduate degree on the relationship between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. She found that "strengthening the right side of the brain through artistic endeavors, such as learning to play a musical instrument, had been linked to academic and athletic success." Wow.
This mother required all of her kids to take private music lessons if they wanted to play sports. So, my husband played football in high school, (something I am desperately hoping to steer my boys AWAY from), so maybe violin will do the trick. I am thinking that violin lessons will not only make them smar-ter - so that they will play soccer (or ANY sport, really) instead of football - but also guarantee those straight-A report cards... right?
I know, I know, I will laugh when I read this years from now. It's as if I really do believe that I have some say in what my kids will decide to do, and hopefully be passionate about...