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Music is academic, physical, emotional, spiritual. Music develops intelligence, coordination, artistry, empathy. Music is for all. Music is forever.


The Tree House Music School

Join the team! Clarinetist Monika Woods offers private music lessons for all ages (ages 2 and up) on Cape Cod. 

With new learners she incorporates Kodaly's philosophy of teaching with a child centered educational approach. In her music lessons she combines, when desired, traditional teaching techniques with the use of audio and video recording. Grants are available for those who qualify.


Where is the name of our music studio comes from? As a child I used to take my clarinet and practice on top of trees. Different trees gave different perspectives, and inspired different sounds, I could sing with the birds. My dream is to build a circular tree house for our music studio, and share the freedom I felt as a child.

*****  May 1, 2014

Monika is a fantastic teacher. She is knowledgable about the instrument, interested in what her students want to learn, and is very encouraging. Monika uses many different types of learning -- listening to good music, counting aloud, singing the notes, and pushing just slightly beyond what the student thinks she can do. I have already recommended Monika several times to others and I recommend her highly to you. (Tiffany Nicely H.)

​"​When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest."  (Henry David Thoreau)

"​We have to establish already in school children the belief that music belongs to everyone and is, with a little effort, available to everyone."  (Zoltán Kodály, Lecture, 1946)

1. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.

Twelve Benefits of Music Education

2. There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a book-bag with everything that will be needed for the day.

3. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.

Language development, spatial intelligence, creativity

Teamwork, discipline, self-expression, self-esteem

4. Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.​

5. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a “me first” attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.

6. Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student’s own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.

7. In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.

8. Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.

9. Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Now that there is relative security in the basics of existence, the challenge is to make life meaningful and to reach for a higher stage of development. Everyone needs to be in touch at some time in his life with his core, with what he is and what he feels. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.

Compassion, empathy, new levels of excellence

Better communication, risk taking

10. Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on “doing,” as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above. In the music classroom, students can also learn to better communicate and cooperate with one another.

11. Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and to take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.

12. An arts education exposes children to the incomparable.

Carolyn Phillips is the author of the Twelve Benefits of Music Education. She is the Former Executive Director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, CT.

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Open Mic



aka the mic-less open mic

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