Your brain is an essential component for all forms of education. One obvious way to improve learning results is to improve students brain capacity. Some forms of teaching are better than others at building brain capacity. I have noticed that frequently, “smart” students actually work harder than “dumb” students. I believe that their study habits and the way they approach life in general not only builds their knowledge, it also builds their brain capacity. Just as hockey players skate and football players run to improve their ability to perform the fundamental movements of their sport, students should exercise their brains to improve their ability to learn. So what types of things build brain capacity? One proven way to build your brain is by learning to play a musical instrument. Playing an instrument uses both halves of your brain simultaneously, requiring better communication to be developed between the right and left hemispheres. A few years ago at my son’s band concert, I realized that the trumpet section was also three fourths of the schools award winning math counts team. Playing an instrument is both incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding. Looking into this a little, I learned that Einstein played the violin. His brain was perhaps one of the most studied in history. He had grown an extra lump on the right side of his brain, a feature found in autopsies of other proficient violin players. Einstein had to expand his brain capacity to play the violin! Of course it is possible that playing music does not make you smart, but that smart people enjoy playing music. OK, so besides brain building there are some more obvious benefits. For one, you learn self-discipline. You simply cannot learn to play a musical instrument without the self-discipline that comes with practice. Then there is group disciple. The members of orchestras and bands must learn to work together as a group to perform music. The group objectives can only be met by subjugating all their individual egos. As a parent, there are a few other benefits. After half-time we hand out drinks to both bands. I am always impressed by how polite and truly thankful the band members are. They all say thank you and are gracious even if we have run out of cold drinks and are handing out warm water. When I look out over the gathering of the two bands I know I am seeing leaders in every imaginable field and I am positive about the future.