So, I was at my friends new shop and it got me to thinking. How often today, realistically, do we hear a child say they are going to piano lessons or learning to play the guitar? I am not a musician myself but can say having been on my own at 14 one of my life’s biggest blessings was going to Los Angeles High School For The Arts. I was enrolled as a fine-art student, when I was not working, but all of my best-friends and those I would consider family were in the music department.

Music is my life in so many ways today, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of music’s great prodigies and prolific artists. From sitting with my best friends, all young and remarkable, playing with the likes of Chic Corea, John Patitucci, Danny Elfman, Steve Porcaro from Toto and even Gina Schock from the GoGos, I truly was part of a musical history and didn’t know it. Being so young at the time I didn’t realize the true fortune of their significance and how it has shaped me and the person I am today. I would always sit in awe of their talent and, although not being in a situation with work to learn how to play, there was just always something remarkable I innately understood about how the mind develops and works when it comes to those who do have a relationship and knowledge of playing a musical instrument.

It is summertime and warm outside and yes, most kids are on the computer or playing video games, but even in our smaller Wichita Falls and the growing arts community, why not try to find something different for your kids to do? Seriously, check out the local opportunities kids could have playing or just trying their hand at music. It is a known fact that children exposed to playing a musical instrument place over 20% higher on standard aptitude exams and it's proven they develop cognitively at a much faster rate than others especially those used to being stuck inside just playing video games or on the computer.

Also, if the computer is their thing, why not check out all of the amazing audio programs now out there, a computer could still be the instrument yet it’s still a different avenue then what we are used to using it for.

Jason’s new place here in Wichita Falls has opened up with those very same ideas in mind, Hayley’s Music on Kemp Street. I think many parents would love to at least be able to open up the possibility of playing or being involved in music to their children, but in reality, the possible expenses of what might just be a hobby or not something they enjoy I think deters so many of us.

What I love about places like Hayley's Music opening up is that not only do they offer a diverse selection of lessons that basically range from all of the standards like guitar, piano, etc. all the way to audio and visual programming. And lessons are now affordable enough on any budget.

And don't let the cost of an instrument deter you, either. Places like Hayley's Music will provide those for them and even have rental programs available for those really interested. Another idea you might consider is getting a group of your children’s friends together and going about a few lessons that way.

There's no better time than now to give the meaningful gift of music that will put a song in your child's heart and a smile on their face.

BONUS: Les Miserables Flash Mob in Wichita Falls

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