– Queen Maxima, Joop van den Ende – music producer, Music and Brain Gym

In last weeks blog I wrote about the fun we have performing our concerts and how much the audiences appreciate that.

Monday 26 November I gave a lesson about “Brain Gym” for our reading-volunteers from the library of Barvaux. The book I use as background information contains a beautiful thesis: Movement and Learning are complementary. One cannot do without the other.

This morning I saw a television show in which Joop van den Ende, famous Dutch music producer, explained that our Queen Maxima had approached him to explore together how it could be achieved that “Music” would enter into the classrooms again!!! It shocked me to hear that already some 18 years ago the education for teacher was stripped of the subject Music in the student programmes. So stupid and unbelievable! I am happy that things are changing again thanks to Queen Maxima and Joop van den Ende.


Joop van den Ende explained in very clear language the importance of music education and of, amongst others, singing together. How this positively affects the learning abilities of individual students but also improves social cohesion between them and even helps preventing bullying! It helps them to become responsible and independently thinking grown-ups.

An additional way to help children in their development is by doing the so called “26 Brain Gym exercises”, easily to be adapted and/or used in all sorts of educational activities. For those of you interested in learning or working at educational facilities and if you are interested in singing, moving and the theory behind Brain Gym, I recommend the books, DVDs and the CD I use and which are also available in English. Please connect to the website of Hearts at Play for more information.

And let’s never forget the fun aspect! If that is missing, music lessons could even evoke aversion to music. An atmosphere of safety, warm attention and fun really contributes to the well being and learning abilities of the pupils!

Do enjoy the video of our Lully arias from the opera Armide as performed during our Autumn Concert!

Marijke Persijn