While listening to Mozart when you're young does not necessarily make you smarter, there are many benefits that young children can gain from learning how to play a musical instrument. Read what Dr Lee Pei Ming, founder of Staccato!, has to say about the benefits of exposing your child to music - what she shares might be music to your ears.

THE STRAITS TIMES, MAY 2011 - ARTICLE

There are a growing number of parents in Singapore signing up their children for classical music lessons even before the young ones fully develop the use of their fingers and motor skills. According to music educators, most children begin their musical training at the age of five or six. At Staccato!, there are over 100 students enrolled with the music school, with some as young as six months old. The most popular classes offered by Staccato! are those for children aged 18 months and three years. Dr Lee thinks it is never too early to get a child started on classes; she believes that music lessons really help them develop their motor skills, and help one- and two-year-olds establish a sense of pulse and identify different notes.

HER WORLD, NOVEMBER 2010 - INTERVIEW

Dr Lee shares more about why she decided to set up a music school for kids between six months and five years. She wants to help children develop an enjoyment for classical music because it has been proven that children who learn music have better concentration and discipline. Music lessons in Staccato! Music School are not confined to just sitting and learning music theory. Students at Staccato! develop their motor skills by playing with balls or hula hoops as they listen to music. Exams are not enforced upon because Dr Lee wants them to cultivate a passion for music. As a professor at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore, Dr Lee's teaching philosophy is giving students the freedom to be independent, and she welcomes students challenging her ideas of how a piece should be played.

TODAY'S PARENT, MAY 2010 - ARTICLE

Introducing your child to a music education might be the key to developing a smarter child. Canadian-based researchers have shown that a year of musical background helps children perform better in memory tests that are correlated with general intelligence skills such as literary, verbal memory, visiopatial processing, mathematics, and IQ. Children can also benefit by having longer concentration spans and improved social skills and eventually developing empathy for different cultures- these are just some of the benefits of music education in the long run. Music can also spark creativity in children: it might inspire them to learn different rhythms, learn different dance movements, and even sing to express their emotions. Playing music within group settings is also beneficial - for example, playing in an orchestra teaches a child about teamwork and discipline. The benefits of a music education are limitless and we should not hesitate to introduce our children to the world of music.

YOUNG PARENT, MAY 2010 - ARTICLE

There have been many studies that have explored the connection between music and brain development. Recent studies have shown that learning to make music engages and demand coordination among many brain regions, including those that process sight, sound, emotions, and memories. When practising a piece over and over again, your little one also develops better concentration, discipline, and determination. According to Dr Lee, all that will make your child better at learning. She also believes that the piano is a great first instrument for kids because it has specific pitches that help your child to develop aural skills. It is never too early to send your child to classes, as long as your child is given opportunities - it is important that music classes are for the benefit of the child, and not the parent.