Music and the Brain: How to Use the Power of Music
Music moves us. Think of a time when you have been down, tired, or even just plain grouchy and your favorite song comes on the radio. You are instantly transformed into a time in your life when you were having fun. You can use the power of music to lift your spirits and change your mood. Music changes people. And it can alter children’s learning and behavior more than you can imagine.
Music and the Brain: How to Use the Power of Music
I remember my grandmother holding me on her lap humming and singing to me. I can remember her and my mother always hum when they cook a nourishing meal for me. I remember listening to music all day long when I was a kid because my dad loved music so much.
It soothed him and he couldn’t live without it. My neighbor blares music in his garage when he works outside. My husband and I love it! In fact, when we’re outside working and he’s not, we miss it.
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Benefits of music
God created sound and I firmly believe He loves all kinds of music. I believe He gave us music as a beautiful and lasting gift that would span the ribbons of time. There are hundreds of different sounds and types of music and people like different ones because God made us all different.
How listening to music can affect the brain
If music can change your mind and your mood, how can we use music to change our children? If we are having a grumpy day at Little Sprouts, I can crank up some rock music and my babies are instantly transformed. If I’m having a grumpy day, I can use some beats to change myself and be better for them.
Children SHOULD be exposed to music. It’s good for every part of them.
The power of music for kids
There are so many different types of music in different cultures. Children should be exposed to a wide variety of music. Music was involved in all parts of history. It was used in the Bible to comfort the king when he was anxious. It was used throughout history, even in writing our Declaration of Independence.
Children who study music have a higher grade point average than children who do not. Albert Einstein improved his learning by playing the violin. As music relaxes your body, you are able to concentrate more fully on what you are learning.
Listening skills are improved through music. The top academic countries in the world place great emphasis on music education. In the United States, we are cutting music programs left and right as budget shortfalls continue. What will the effects of that be?
Music effects neurological, psychological and physical functions. Processing language and expressing emotion are affected by music. Memory and motor responses are affected as well.
Music links the spiritual, physical, and emotional with the thinking parts of the brain. Music is mathematical. The beats and notes in the music have a rhythm and a time. This is what makes music help children learn. Particularly memory can be enhanced by music.
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Music changes the speed of the heartbeat, changes your mood, calms and comforts, and can even reduce pain. Music can also lessen the effects and symptoms of depression. Both sides of the brain are working when we are involved in music which also stimulates learning.
Click here to find out more about the benefits music can give us.
The more experience you have with music, the more you are able to enjoy it. Practice makes perfect is no different when it comes to music. If there is a particular type of music you find no value in, perhaps more exposure to it can help your mind comprehend where there is beauty in it.
Musical beats, rhymes, expressing language, emotions, and so many other great benefits are held in an arm’s reach at your cd player. The next time your kids all come in grumpy on a Monday morning, I challenge you to put on some tunes and see if that changes their minds. I would be willing to bet it will. Dance it out!
Music is great for transition times. If you want the kids to pick up and no one wants to, jam an upbeat song on the radio and see if that helps them have more fun with their task and in turn be more willing to participate.
I make up silly songs to clean with. Such as the old Barney song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere” I made a new second verse that goes “Clean up, clean up, don’t forget your underwear.” Kids think underwear is funny. So they giggle and laugh as they pick up the toys. It works folks!
Music is great for kids to rest by. It relaxes their bodies, quiets their minds and helps them feel more peaceful at nap time. We always sing together before I put my kids down for a nap. It focuses them and settles them.
Dancing is great exercise and who can resist a little jig when cool music is playing? Not me! I know we get a lot more movement at Little Sprouts because of music. I perform songs for the kids (and dance numbers).
I encourage them to perform them for me. I dance with the kids at music time. It’s important to show children that it’s good to have fun. But moving to the music has more significance than just plain old fun. Movement to music helps the brain develop and learn as well.
There is no type of music that should be off limits. Variety in music genres can create more appreciation for different types of music as well as more connections in the brain.
Kiddie music is fun and teaches good things, but it’s important for children to hear adult music to broaden their understanding and learning about and through music as well. Obviously inappropriate lyrics should be avoided, but styles of sounds should not. Adult music has a broader spectrum of scales and notes and produces more reactions in the brain.
It’s imperative that we model a love and appreciation for music. Hum, sing, dance, play, and enjoy music WITH your kids. It will be so beneficial to them, I promise. It doesn’t matter if your singing voice is good, or if you are a good dancer, it’s the enjoyment of it that matters.
My kids beg me to sing to them for hours on end. I will do it until my throat hurts. One of my favorite things is when a child wants to sit in my lap and have me sing to them. I make up songs with their name (much to my husband’s annoyance), sing their favorite kid’s songs, sing songs from their favorite movies (which I usually only know the choruses I hear them sing), sing songs from my childhood, and sing hymns.
I sing whatever I can think of and they love it. We are bonding. I’m giving them what my grandmother and mother gave me.
When I listen to music, I’m immediately taken back by the beat of it. I find the drum or percussion in the song and set my heart to it. It’s how I connect with the beauty of the artist. It transforms me.
I encourage you to put more music in your life today. I encourage you to share more music with your kids! They will be smarter, happier, and better behaved. And all of you will be having more fun!
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