Smarter Kids? Turn up the MUSIC!

Do you live in the Philadelphia region?

If so-you have to check out this amazing piano store in Germantown!  Cunningham Pianos!!  




Parents are always looking for ways to tune their children into better students. It may be as simple as music to your ears. “Music researchers are finding correlations between music making and some of the deepest workings of the human brain. Research has linked active music making with increased language discrimination and development, math ability, improved school grades, better-adjusted social behavior, and improvements in "spatial-temporal reasoning," - a cornerstone for problem solving,” According to Richard Galessini co-owner of Cunningham Pianos of Germantown and a professional musician who has been researching the “Mozart Effect” as it is referred to, for years. 

Galessini cited a study at the University of California at Irvine that demonstrated that young kids who participated in music instruction showed dramatic enhancements in abstract reasoning skills. “In fact, researchers have found neural firing patterns that suggest that music may hold the key to higher brain function,” he added. 

“Kids are ready to begin making music even earlier than you may think. Before then, there are benefits to just listening. Hearing music stimulates the mind, improves the mood and brings people together.” The Window Of Opportunity For Studying Music is between the ages of three and ten. This is the time when we are the most receptive to and able to process music. (Source: Newsweek, February 19, 1996) 

Research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada showed that grade-school kids who took music lessons scored higher on tests of general and spatial cognitive development, the abilities that form the basis for performance in math and engineering. “Music students are outperforming non-music students on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). College-bound seniors with coursework or experience in music performance scored 52 points higher on the verbal portion and 37 points higher on the math portion of the SAT than students with no coursework or experience in the arts. (Source: The College Board, September 1997),” Galessini said.

Music training, specifically piano instruction, is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children's abstract reasoning skills necessary for learning math and science. Learning music at an early age causes long-term enhancement of spatial- temporal reasoning.
(Source: Frances Rauscher, Ph.D., Gordon Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1997)

Galessini suggests the following to parents:

  •  Make music a part of your home. 
  • Expose your children to different types of music. Go to musical events, listen to the radio, enjoy musical performances on television, play CDs — there are lots of ways to explore the world of music. 
  • Make music as a family. Maybe you're an accomplished musician with a gift to pass on to your kids; or maybe you can pass a rainy day making your own instruments out of coffee cans, broomsticks or water glasses. It's fun either way. 
  • Encourage and support your children when they become interested in playing an instrument. 
  • If you are a musician in your own right, be a model for your children. If you're not, you can learn together! 

September through December is the largest piano purchasing season, Galessini explained. Parents should also realize there are alternatives to purchasing such as leasing a piano. Cunningham Pianos which has been in business for over 65 years also is a large supporter of music in the community and offers scholarships for students as well as many community outreach programs.

Cunningham Pianos will also offer a series of free concerts this fall at their Germantown showroom featuring renowned talent as well as historic pianos! “It is a chance for attendees to get behind the music so to speak and learn about the performers, the instruments and the pieces selected.” Dates and performers are posted on the Cunningham Pianos website.

Additionally, visitors are welcome to tour the four-story factory to get a first-hand look at the delicate restoration process, which begins with a broken down instrument and ends with nothing short of a miracle. Some of the damage is obvious, like scratches or yellowed keys while others are not detectible to the eye, but only to a trained ear.

While Cunningham Piano is in our backyard, the company provides pianos for celebrities and royalty across the world including Max Weinberg the Director of Music for The Conan O’Brien Late Show, drummer for Bruce Springsteen, College Clinician, and author. Recently, he chose a Bosendorfer grand piano for himself and his daughter at Cunningham Piano Company, the piano of his dreams. 

Max commented, “My grandmother purchased her first piano at Cunningham and it has been a family tradition ever since.” 

For more information about Cunningham Piano Company & Factory located at 5427 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144 call  (215) 438-3200  (800) 394-1117  or log onto