Not every kid who listens to or plays classical music goes on to be a composing prodigy, a math whiz, or a chess master, but some studies indicate that there could be a connection between exposure to Mozart, for instance, and the development of spatial-temporal reasoning — the ability to think in three dimensions. Nineteenth-century Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvoˇrák, for instance, was playing the violin by age six and writing music by 14. Though his father would have preferred that he focus on playing the church organ, Dvoˇrák received his parents’ blessing to follow a more expansive set of dreams. He went on to teach music and write symphonies and operas and is now considered one of the most versatile composers of his time.

“Some of the benefits of music involvement include inspiration, joy, self-awareness, and brain development,” said Leanne D. DeVane, director of education and outreach for Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. “Children’s hearts and brains absorb everything around them. Why not make [what they listen to] the highest quality possible? An encounter with musical excellence, together with friendly and approachable musicians, is a fun and meaningful learning experience.”

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival hosts a free summertime Youth Concerts series, installments of which include musical performances accompanied by discussions with festival artists about musical history, musical instruments and styles, and composer biographies. Youth Concerts continue at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 29, with Dvoˇrák Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81, and at 10 a.m. on Aug. 5 with selections by Bach and Schubert. Concerts are held at the New Mexico Museum of Art (107 W. Palace Ave.). For more information call 505-983-2075 or go to santafechambermusic.com/youth-concerts

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