Praise for



Book Review (Kirkus)

Habermeyer (Good Music, Brighter Children, 1999) updates her debut exploration of the importance of music in children’s lives with enlightening new information.

After educator Habermeyer struggled to find a book on the benefits of music for children that included practical guidance for parents, she decided to write one herself.  The result was a meticulously researched and crafted work—a blend of investigation, manual, textbook and inspiration—with careful scrutiny of the merits and implementation of music instruction.  The updated edition brings in 21st century scientific studies, laws and technological innovations, along with anecdotes about successful child musicians—all of which support the idea that music should be as fundamental to education as the three R’s.  With a scientist’s eye and an artist’s voice, Habermeyer examines everything from the benefits of music for the developing brain to music’s ability to improve cultural awareness.  “Music, like truth, is often felt before it is understood,” the book notes.  Similarly, Habermeyer’s lucid writing tends to strike a chord before the reader has processed the wealth of data that supports it.  Her book is never preachy or hyperbolic—it is instead well-reasoned and peppered with moments of science-backed epiphany—yet its effect is as moving as it is cerebral.  It is also motivational enough to encourage many parents to sign their children up for lessons.  And it provides tips and resources that can help, including lists of recommended books, DVDs and Internet sources, as well as clear explanations of which instruments might best suit children of different ages and personalities.  It gives particular attention to the value of music in the lives of special needs children, a topic often slighted in books for a general audience.  And it delves into important ancillary subjects, such as ways to support local arts or start an orchestra.  This is an encyclopedic, invaluable resource for anyone who believes in music education.  Habermeyer may be preaching partly to the choir, but that choir is ready to sing and start playing instruments.  Even parents whose children are already taking lessons may find valuable recommendations.

A magnum opus, fact-filled and inspiring, on the benefits of music.


“I have a premonition that one day soon we will wake up, like Woody Allen’s character in the film Sleeper, to the realization that stripping instrumental music from our elementary schools was a true blunder of twentieth century American education. Sharlene Habermeyer outlines why music is important to learning, and provides parents with excellent suggestions for launching and sustaining a musical influence in the lives of their children.”

 -James S. Catterall, professor of education

and co-director of Imagination Project at UCLA


“Sharlene Habermeyer’s book, Good Music, Brighter Children, is a very well-crafted look at the importance and many benefits of music in our children’s lives at home and school. She weaves together contemporary brain research about how music affects the short and long-term development of young children’s minds, the very successful use of music—and truly all the Arts— in supporting children who have learning exceptionalities, and the practical ways that parents can organize and support music education both in and after school. This is an enjoyable, lucid, and informative read for anyone who wants to better understand or make the case for the value of Arts Education in our schools.”

-Tim Seldin, President

The Montessori Foundation


“Music is a powerful and necessary tool for engaging students’ hearts and minds. Good Music, Brighter Children provides educators, parents, and the community with critical information as well as the language to advocate for its rightful position within a child’s complete education.”

 -Joan Ashcraft, DMA.

Director, Tucson Unified School District, Fine and Performing Arts

Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA)


Good Music Brighter Children provides extensive information in the area of brain research and offers a whole host of strategies for bringing music into the home or school. Children are our most important renewing natural resource and any opportunities we can offer them to grow better brains benefits the entire world. We have no idea which child we encounter at a playground will grow up to be a scientist who develops the cure for cancer. Music has long been regarded as an enjoyable and educational pursuit for our children that most parents would readily agree benefit their children in many ways, but until recently we didn’t have the scientific evidence to support making those assertions. With advances in neurosciences it is now possible to conclude that music does more than just “enrich” our lives, it “enriches” our brains. This text is timely as it shows why we must continue to support music endeavors for all children even when budgets are tight. This beautifully written work presents the most compelling argument to date that supports why we as a society must continue to fulfill the cultural mandate of including music in the lives of every child.”

-Kathleen A. Horvath, Ph.D

Associate Professor of String Education and Pedagogy

Director of Undergraduate Studies in Music Education

Case Western Reserve University


“A great resource for both parents and teachers. Anyone interested in music or the overall well-being of children will not be able to put this book down.”

 -Lisha Papert Lercari, Director

Music and the Brain


“An outstanding book brings so much hope to families, particularly to children with disabilities. Music is indeed the best therapy in helping many children overcome their challenges, enabling them to accomplish so many things beyond our imaginations.   Every parent and teacher should read this book to discover the hidden talents of their children, from as young as eighteen months old and particularly those with disabilities.   Nothing is impossible if we strive to help our children through the power of good music, with our belief that every child can excel.”

 -Miriam Choi

Suzuki Piano Teacher (Advanced)

Melbourne, Australia


“This new book is an incalculable resource for family members, educators and music-affiliated retailers alike. It is a road map, providing categorical stepping stones for aiding children as they mature into well-developed and successful adults. I have kept Sharlene Habermeyer’s first edition of Good Music, Brighter Children on my office desk for more than a decade, offering recommendations and testimonials to store visitors for building higher intellect in both children and young adults. It is a wonderful, thought-provoking book. Parents should immerse themselves in its message.”

-Antoinette Purdon

The Piano Company

Leesburg, Virginia


“Sharlene Habermeyer’s enthusiastic and informative guide explains the potential impact of music in the home and community and backs it up with academic studies and other evidences of music’s exceptional capability to influence the lives of children for good. Carefully researched and highly readable, Good Music, Brighter Children is written for musicians and non musicians alike. The book describes the powerful benefits of music in a child’s life, and offers helpful ideas to keep children involved in music as they grow. It is filled with wisdom, insight and helpful tips to bring music into the home for all ages and stages of childhood.”

 -Shauna Bird Dunn, JD, MPA

Utah Young Mother of the Year, 2010


Good Music, Brighter Children perfectly outlined for me how to brighten my children’s lives through the magical world of music. I learned that children who receive a music education can evolve and posses critically important traits such as discipline, teamwork, creativity and respect for themselves and others. My sincere thanks to Sharlene Habermeyer for THE single most important resource I relied upon to be a confident mother whose children have ‘evolved’ and are not only accomplished students and musicians, but sensitive, intelligent, happy people as well.”

-Nancy Allen Naroff,

Mother of musicians Madeline & Dylan


“Good Music, Brighter Children is a refreshing and inspiring “how-to” manual for parents who want to improve their child’s life through music. Sharlene Habermeyer not only describes the ‘why’s’ of using music, but explains the ‘how’s’ of easily incorporating music into the lives of our children. Turn on the music and watch your child’s mind grow!”

 -Michelle Whitesides

Mother & Young Violinist Chairperson

Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra    

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