Sunday Services

8:00 AM Holy Eucharist
9:15 AM Holy Eucharist (Sunday School and Nursery Care)
11:00 AM Morning Prayer (First Sunday of the month: Holy Eucharist)

For details, see the full list of services and directions to the church.

The Benefits of Music

The Choir of Men & Boys has been disbanded as of 16 September 2020. The Choir of Men & Boys pages are left here as a historical record.

Various articles on the internet discussing the benefits of music and music education, particularly in the development of young minds.

Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind

1 November 2010, Scientific American

“Music produces profound and lasting changes in the brain. Schools should add classes, not cut them.”

“Studies have shown that assiduous instrument training from an early age can help the brain to process sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects, from literature to tensor calculus. The musically adept are better able to concentrate on a biology lesson despite the racket in the classroom or, a few years later, to finish a call with a client when a colleague in the next cubicle starts screaming at an underling. They can attend to several things at once in the mental scratch pad called working memory, an essential skill in this era of multitasking.”

Listening to music lights up the whole brain

6 December 2011, Science Daily, Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

“Finnish researchers have developed a groundbreaking new method that allows to study how the brain processes different aspects of music, such as rhythm, tonality and timbre (sound color) in a realistic listening situation. The study is pioneering in that it for the first time reveals how wide networks in the brain, including areas responsible for motor actions, emotions, and creativity, are activated during music listening. The new method helps us understand better the complex dynamics of brain networks and the way music affects us.”

Music lessons enhance the quality of school life

30 August 2013, Science Daily, Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)

“A new study examined whether an extended music education had an impact on pupils’ experienced satisfaction with the school. Nearly a thousand pupils at ten Finnish schools with extended music classes and comparison classes participated on a survey that measured the quality of school life at Year 3 and Year 6.”

5 September 2013, British Psychological Society (BPS)

Making music may improve young children’s behavior

“Making music can improve both pro-social behavior (voluntary behavior intended to benefit another) and the problem solving skills of young children according to a new study. Building on existing research which found that making music significantly improves pro-social behavior in young children) the current study investigated not only the potential effects of music making (singing or playing an instrument) on pro-sociability but also its effects on problem-solving and whether there was a difference between boys and girls.”

Making Music Dramatically Improves Young Children’s Behaviour

18 February 2014, PsyBlog

“Children become 30 times more helpful after making music compared with listening to a story.”

“Both singing and playing a musical instrument can improve young children’s behaviour, according to a recent study.

The study found that children who’d been making music were more helpful to each other and had better problem-solving skills than those who’d listened to a story.”

Musicians’ Brains Really Do Work Differently — In A Good Way

20 November 2014, Anastasia Tsioulcas (video)

“Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain?”

That’s the launching point for a fantastic little video made by educator Anita Collins and animator Sharon Colman Graham for TED-Ed. What they explain is that while listening to music is beneficial, playing music is “the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.”

What’s more: Neuroscientists have found that some of these aspects of mental work are different from any other activity studied, including playing sports or engaging in various creative pursuits.”

School Finds Music Is the Food of Learning
At Voice Charter School in Queens, Students Have Outperformed Their Peers Academically

19 December 2014, New York Times, Elizabeth A. Harris

“Academically, students at Voice did significantly better than the city average on New York State math exams last year, with 70 percent of its students passing, compared with 39 percent citywide. Their English performance was less impressive, but with 39 percent passing, it still beat the citywide average of 30 percent.”

Science Just Discovered Something Amazing About What Childhood Piano Lessons Did to You

8 January 2015, Mic, Tom Barnes

James Hudziak and his colleagues analyzed the brain scans of 232 children ages 6 to 18, looking for relationships between cortical thickness and musical training. Previous studies the team had performed revealed that anxiety, depression, attention problems and aggression correspond with changes to cortical thickness. Hudziak and his team sought to discover whether a “positive activity” like musical training could affect the opposite changes in young minds.

“What we found was the more a child trained on an instrument,” Hudziak told the Washington Post, “it accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.”

Music Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You, According to Science

17 February 2015, Tom Barnes

“Psychological studies continue to uncover more and more benefits that music lessons provide to developing minds. One incredibly comprehensive longitudinal study, produced by the German Socio-Economic Panel in 2013, stated the power of music lessons as plain as could be: “Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance.” The study found that kids who take music lessons “have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious.” And that’s just the beginning.”

Musical intervention enhances infants’ neural processing of temporal structure in music and speech

17 March 2016, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , T. Christina Zhao and Patricia K. Kuhl

Musicians show enhanced musical pitch and meter processing, effects that generalize to speech. Yet potential differences between musicians and nonmusicians limit conclusions. We examined the effects of a randomized laboratory-controlled music intervention on music and speech processing in 9-mo-old infants. The Intervention exposed infants to music in triple meter (the waltz) in a social environment. Controls engaged in similar social play without music. After 12 sessions, infants’ temporal information processing was assessed in music and speech using brain measures [magnetoencephalography (MEG)]. Compared with controls, intervention infants exhibited enhanced neural responses to temporal violations in both music and speech, in both auditory and prefrontal cortices. The intervention improves infants’ detection and prediction of auditory patterns, skills important to music and speech.

Music and what it means to be human

25 March 2016, Oxford University Press Blog, Susan Hallam

Music is universal and found in all cultures. Some have suggested that it is at the very essence of humanity, like language, distinguishing us from other species. Some have argued that music exemplifies many of the classic criteria for a complex human evolutionary adaptation, with evidence for the existence of music tens of thousands of years ago. The earliest musical instrument so far discovered, a bone flute, is estimated to be about 50,000 years old. Even this may have been predated by singing. Music may have a role in relation to mate selection, social cohesion, group effort, perceptual and motor skill development, conflict reduction, safe time passing, and trans-generational communication.

A child’s brain develops faster with exposure to music

19 June 2016, Music Education Works, ainitanee

A two-year study by researchers at the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the University of Southern California shows that exposure to music and music instruction accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception.

Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument

24 Oct 2016, The Guardian, Mo Costandi

Musical training can have a dramatic impact on your brain’s structure, enhancing your memory, spatial reasoning and language skills

Importantly, the brain scanning studies show that the extent of anatomical change in musicians’ brains is closely related to the age at which musical training began, and the intensity of training. Those who started training at the youngest age showed the largest changes when compared to non-musicians.

Even short periods of musical training in early childhood can have long-lasting benefits.

Neural Correlates of Accelerated Auditory Processing in Children Engaged in Music Training

October 2016, Science Direct, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol 21, Assal Habibi, B. Rael Cahn, Antonio Damasio, Hanna Damasio,

Several studies comparing adult musicians and non-musicians have shown that music training is associated with brain differences. It is unknown, however, whether these differences result from lengthy musical training, from pre-existing biological traits, or from social factors favoring musicality. As part of an ongoing 5-year longitudinal study, we investigated the effects of a music training program on the auditory development of children, over the course of two years, beginning at age 6–7. The training was group-based and inspired by El-Sistema. We compared the children in the music group with two comparison groups of children of the same socio-economic background, one involved in sports training, another not involved in any systematic training. Prior to participating, children who began training in music did not differ from those in the comparison groups in any of the assessed measures. After two years, we now observe that children in the music group, but not in the two comparison groups, show an enhanced ability to detect changes in tonal environment and an accelerated maturity of auditory processing as measured by cortical auditory evoked potentials to musical notes. Our results suggest that music training may result in stimulus specific brain changes in school aged children.


Updated 14 June 2017 (original 22 October 2015), Pacific Standard, Tom Jacobs

New research suggests singing together was the original way our hunter-gatherer ancestors forged bonds with strangers.

This means “the social bonding effects of singing are actually more substantial in larger group settings compared to smaller, more familiar groups,” the researchers conclude. “This supports the notion that diverse cultural phenomena such as national anthems, religious music, team chants, or military marching bands are behaviors that promote social bonding in large groups of individuals who do not necessarily know each other personally. Such behaviors may have played a crucial role in human evolution by allowing us to increase community size significantly beyond those found in other primate species.”

They help kids develop the ability to disregard potential distractions.

Updated 14 June 2017 (original 5 July 2016), PACIFIC STANDARD STAFF, Tom Jacobs

The term “cognitive inhibition” doesn’t sound particularly attractive, but it describes a vitally important mental process. It refers to our capability to tune out irrelevant information and focus our attention on the matter at hand.

Obviously, this ability to concentrate is more important than ever, in a world where we are constantly beckoned by a wide range of distractions. So how can you help your child develop it?

“… making music hones the ability to focus and ignore distractions, which can pay enormous dividends in educational settings, and throughout one’s life.”

How to improve the school results: not extra maths but music, loads of it

3 October 2017, The Guardian, Josh Halliday

How to improve the school results: not extra maths but music, loads of it: A Bradford primary school wants the world to know its newfound Sats success is down to giving all children up to six hours of music a week

Music Training May Improve Attention, Cut Kids’ Anxiety

Last updated: 8 Aug 2018, PsychCentral, Traci Pedersen

The authors found that playing music altered the motor areas in the brain, because it requires control and coordination of movement. There were also changes in the behavior-regulating areas of the brain.

For example, music practice influenced thickness in the part of the cortex that relates to “executive functioning, including working memory, attentional control, as well as organization and planning for the future,” the authors write.

Music students do better in math than non-musical peers

24 June 2019,, University of British Columbia

High school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers, according to a new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

High School Students Do Better In Science, Math And English If They Also Take Music Lessons

25 June 2019 , Forbes, Eva Amsen

The researchers collected data from over 100,000 students at public high schools across the province of British Columbia. This covered all the students who graduated between 2012 and 2015. More than 15,000 of them were taking music lessons during their time in high school.

Comparing the test scores of students who took music classes with those of their peers, the musicians got higher grades in a range of different school subjects. Research like this has been done before, but the current study is much larger, and took into account other factors that may have affected the results. For example, perhaps students who took music classes were encouraged to do so because they already had good grades. Or perhaps students were more or less inclined to study music depending on their socioeconomic background, which could also affect academic scores. The research team corrected for these factors in their data analysis, and they still found a clear effect of music lessons on academic performance.

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