President and Founder of M.U.S.E. Inc.
Bryant Allard, a native of southern California, is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston earning a Performance Major degree in 1984. After graduating from Berklee, he moved to the San Francisco bay area where he performed as a jazz and latin jazz artist. In 1986 Bryant started his own music education business, M.U.S.E, offering instrumental band programs to private schools for grades 4-8.
In 1993, Bryant relocated with his wife Teri and two year old daughter to Portland Oregon and expanded his M.U.S.E. program to private and public schools while keeping his operations going in the bay area. Currently M.U.S.E. runs instrumental music in over 40 schools in both the bay are and Portland and has a staff of 10-15 teachers.
Bryant has several Cd’s of his own that he is proud of which can be found on CD Baby and has recorded with other groups. He currently performs in the Portland area with his latin jazz band Picante and as a freelance Jazz trumpeter working with some of the world class musicians in Portland including Ron Steen, Ray and Rebecca Hardiman, Greg Gobell, George Mitchell (Pianist for Diana Ross), Phil Baker (bassist for Pink Martini), Dan Presley and singer John Gilmore. He also runs a 17 piece community big band every week for adults called The Portland Woodshed Jazz Orchestra.
In addition to all of this, Bryant is currently a board member for the Jazz Society of Oregon.
Why we think learning to play a musical instrument is so important in a child’s development:
Let’s face the facts. We all live very busy lives. Students can tend to be stretched thin with all of their interests in sports, music, theater, dance, and many other afterschool activities. Why add another activity to the list? There have been recent studies done that show that when playing a musical instrument, not just listening to music, the brain fires up on ALL cylinders, not just one part of the brain. Students are doing at least eight different things at one time: breathing, hand eye coordination, listening, moving hands, fingers, and toes, counting, playing rhythmically, and making quick decisions. Disciplined structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions.
When learning to play an instrument a child learns the art of discipline, time management, organizational skills, teamwork, perseverance and commitment, and much more. In our classes and workshops, we teach the students “How to Practice” instilling in them how to be efficient in using their time by recognizing and isolating the trouble spots and focusing in on the challenging area. A good efficient 10-15 minute practice session is better than an unfocused 30 minute session. By showing students how to use their time wisely they are learning a Time Management skill that will benefit them for life. Parents do need to be on board and help get the student on a practice routine from the beginning.
Here is a great short 3 minute video about the brain and music: