Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Key to Higher learning

Dentists In Winston Salem - The Key to Higher learning
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(A look into music and its follow on brain development)

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Music brings to each person their own unique contact and emotional response. For each of us enter life with music. From the sound of our mother singing lullabies to the final funeral march; music is a constant in our lives. Have you ever wondered why music is playing in the grocery store, the dentist office, the doctors' office, and elevators? Why do habitancy feel the need to bring in music that does not retell to their business? Is it that music provides something to our state of mind? I believe that music has a direct influence on our actions. Music impacts who we are and who we will become.

Music cleanses the understanding; inspires it, and lifts it into a realm which it would not reach if it were left to itself. ~Henry Ward Beecher

For over fifty years, the link between music education and brain amelioration or intellectual growth has been researched. Any studies have shown fantastic results establishing that music does play an important role in who we become. Music helps "unlock" the learning possible in our brain which is needed to enhance our knowledge. Music aids in developing communication skills, strengthening memory, improving creativity, expanding self esteem and group skills, developing perceptual motor skills, expanding learning capabilities, curative the body, providing sensory integration, and motivating or expanding productivity. Music is a part of shaping each and every person's life. Music does influence us.

The following research supports the theory that music not only can be calming, but also assists in regaining the ability to focus and attend to tasks. This new found attentiveness is what brings us to a higher level of learning. Therefore it is important to consist of music in the daily activities of children and teens. Music can be a very useful tool in every classroom for behavior management, as well as keeping children on task, occasion them up for supplementary learning. This is our children's key to success.

The Mozart Effect:

According to Don Campbell (1997), the power of Mozart's music came to group attentiveness in 1993 when Gordon Shaw and Dr. Frances Rauscher, and their team at the center for the Neurobiology of learning and Memory in Irvine, founded "the Mozart Effect". Rauscher and Shaw hypothesized that listening to a exact music would produce a short term enhancement of spatial-temporal thinking skills. They chose a singular Mozart sonata which had natural sequences of patterns and symmetries. These patterns easily match the internal structure of the brain. The study of thirty-six undergraduates from the psychology branch proved an growth in spatial-temporal thinking skills. These college students' Iq increased by nine points after listening to music of Mozart. Although the follow lasted only ten to fifteen minutes, the relationship between music and spatial thinking skills was evident. The theory industrialized that listening to Mozart, whose music has a mathematical complexity, will make you smarter. Dr. Shaw and his research partner, Dr. Frances Rauscher furthered their studies by proving that keyboard lessons given to pre-schoolers, over a period of six months, also increased their spatial-temporal thinking skills by 34 per cent more than pre-schoolers who did not receive the music lessons. Furthermore, this follow would be long term. Dr. Gordon Shaw was quoted as saying, "Mozart's music may warm up the brain. We presume that complicated music facilitates safe bet complicated neuronal patterns complicated in high brain activities like math and chess." (Campbell, 1997, pg.15-17) Media termed the results of these studies as "the Mozart effect" and the group grew increasingly interested. Hence, supplementary studies were promoted.

A follow-up study was conducted by projecting sixteen abstract figures, similar to folded pieces of paper, on an overhead screen for one small each, for seventy nine students. The students were tested to see if they could tell how the items would look when they were unfolded. Over a five day period, one group listened to Mozart, an additional one to silence and an additional one group heard mixed sounds, along with music, short stories and dance pieces. At the end of five days, the Mozart group scored sixty two per cent higher while the silence group increased by only fourteen per cent and the mixed group increased by eleven per cent. The scientists recommend that listening to Mozart helps to invent the firing patterns of neurons in the cerebral cortex in relationship with higher brain function. (Campbell, 1997, pg.15-17)

Again in March 1999, Neurological research published Dr. Shaw's study reporting that second graders who played the piano scored twenty seven per cent higher on proportional math and fraction tests. (Campbell, 1997, pg.180-181) The relationship between playing an instrument and higher grades in math was confirmed once again.

Another study at Bolton Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina was conducted to challenge the "Mozart effect". This school was populated with students who averaged an Iq of ninety two among the second and fifth graders. These children had few advantages and not much extracurricular stimulation; as well seventy per cent were poor sufficient to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The needful hired a quintet for three years to play for the first, second and third graders for two to three half-hour sessions per week. As well, classical music was played over the school's intercom theory in the halls, library and lunch room. After just three weeks, the first grade teacher noticed a difference in her students' ability to listen. After the three years, eighty five per cent of the students who had exposure to the classical music tested above grade level for reading and eighty nine per cent tested above midpoint for math. This study supplementary acclaimed the unbelievable impact that music has on children's learning abilities and scholastic performances.

Media attentiveness provoked continuous studies. Mozart's music was known to enhance attentiveness and execution in students. Was this increased attentiveness and execution due to the fact that Mozart's music opens the ear to listening, not just hearing? Listening is an active skill, while hearing is passive. I believe that the theory of the Mozart follow lives with the awakening of our listening abilities - the ability to integrate and focus. Once we invent this skill, we are capable of expanding our learning potential.

However, my interpretation is that if we expose children to music, either as a listener or a player, it is good for the brain. Music stimulates a creative thinking and active listening that can only lead to true learning.

Multiple Intelligences:

Within the essence of true learning, we must realize that we have discrete strengths working together to reach our potential. Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard University, created a theory of many intelligences in 1983. His theory recommend that the primary estimation of intelligence, based on Iq testing, is far too limited. Instead, Dr. Gardner proposed eight distinct intelligences to list for a broader range of human possible in children and adults. These intelligences are:

Linguistic (word smart)
Logical / Mathematical (number/reasoning smart)
Interpersonal (people smart)
Intrapersonal (self smart)
Bodily-kinaesthetic (body smart)
Musical (music smart)
Spatial (picture smart)
Naturalist (nature smart)

Gardner's theory of many Intelligences provides a theoretical foundation for recognizing the distinct abilities and talents of students. This theory acknowledges that some students may not be verbally or mathematically gifted, but may have an expertise in other areas, such as music, spatial relations, or interpersonal knowledge. Teaching and assessing learning in this manner allows a wider range of students to successfully partake in classroom learning. This suggests educating the whole person. In Fowler's (1990) article, Gardner states, "As important as intelligence is, character and foresight and responsibility are at least as important, probably more important". This, once again, validates teaching to the whole child.

We all use distinct forms of intelligences combined for optimal learning experiences. However, it is important to note that we may have a higher level of one intelligence than another. These intelligences form our strengths and weaknesses of who we are. Since we all learn differently, music may contribute an area in which some students may excel in - an area where they contact a sense of achievement. Music can faultless the process of educating.

The intelligences can be related to each other straight through developing discrete skills. Production music helps children utilize, develop, and strengthen Any aspects of intelligence. straight through listening to music, singing, playing an instrument, our minds gets excited about learning. This, in turn, equates to stimulating young children's abilities to invent acquisition skills. Turner (2004) also states that singing improves verbal and linguistic ability and promotes communication skills and self confidence. Words and music are related together because children are acquiring skills in both language and music at the same time. Singing also relaxes children, enabling them to breathe deeper and more frequently, feeding their brain with oxygen, and boosting their sense of well-being. (pg.111-116)

By connecting sound, movement, speech and interaction with a musical component, it is possible to get underway and integrate more of the brain than with any other educational tool. By drawing to music, speaking in distinct accents (the musical ability of language), rapping spontaneously, and becoming aware of both the active (playing an instrument or singing) and passive (listening, imaging, or using music in the background) aspects of music, children can enhance their mathematics, language, coordination, group and personal skills. The use of many forms of intelligence allows them to integrate and harmonize as well as use their brains to their most potential. (Campbell 2000)

Therefore, students who are complicated with music in any way, originate a safe bet influence on their unabridged intelligence.

Brain activity and Development

Many questions have arisen about the follow that music has on brain development. We must identify that music has an influence on our brains. It is animated to note that Any studies have acknowledged that musical activity involves nearly every region of the brain.

Trainer (2005) explains that distinct aspects of music, such as pitch, tempo and timbre, are analyzed by distinct neural regions. Listening to music starts with the brain stem, the cerebellum, and then moves up to auditory cortices on both sides of the brain. Trying to follow along with customary music, involves supplementary regions of the brain. The Hippocampus, our memory center, and the subsections of the frontal lobe, particularly the frontal cortex, are all stimulated. The frontal lobe is related with planning, self-control, and with perceptual organization. Tapping along with music involves the cerebellum's timing circuits. The cerebellum is complicated in emotions and the planning of movements. Performing music involves the frontal lobes again for the planning behaviour, as well as the motor cortex in the parietal lobe. The parietal lobe is related with motor movements and spatial skill. The sensory cortex provides tactile feedback when you have pressed the right key on your instrument, or moved the baton where you thought you did. Reading music involves the visual cortex, in the back of your head in the occipital lobe, which is responsible for vision. Listening to or recalling lyrics invoke language centers, as well as other language centers in the temporal and frontal lobes. The temporal lobe is related with hearing and memory. All areas of the brain write back to music.

Studies continue to show how music influences brain activity with both long term and short term effects. However, supplementary notice confirms that music effects how the brain develops.

The brain is a very complicated organ of the human body. Due to the size of the female pelvis, the brain cannot grow to its full size until after birth. The brain will continue to grow, at the same rate as prenatally, for two years. A process of myelination, which covers the brain's nerve pathways with a fatty, insulating substance called myelin, enables nerve pathways to enhance their performance. As each section of the brain myelinates, that section becomes functional. Interestingly, the auditory nerve in the brain becomes myelinized prenatally which allows babies to hear before they are born.

Studies have shown that fetuses can sense sounds almost between sixteen to twenty weeks. By the time the fetus reaches twenty-six weeks, they are receptive to music. As well, fetal heart rates slow down nicely in utero when they contact music. (Turner, 2004, pg.41-42) This factor substantiates that babies seem to relax in response to music. With this in mind, some delivery rooms will have relaxing music for both the mother and baby during the birthing process.

As the baby grows and the brain continues to develop, the baby forms perceptions about all things in its environment. learning occurs straight through movement and emotional associations; both which music is involved. The continuous brain growth accelerates in the seventh year when the skull expands. After this, the child will start a two year growth period in the auditory area. during this growth, fine discrimination in hearing and producing sounds are industrialized which makes it the ideal time for music. (Campbell, 2000, pg.189-190) It is within this time, between the second and third grades, children invent more complicated skills - listening, processing visual information, and coordinating movement in the brain.

Orff explained, in a typical analogy drawn from the natural world, "It is at the primary school age that the imagination must be stimulated; and the opportunities for emotional development, which consist of contact of the ability to feel, and the power to control the expression of that feeling, must also be provided. all things a child experiences at this age, all things that has been awakened and nurtured, is a determining factor for the whole of life." (Campbell, 1997, pg.186)

The auditory pathways continue to invent from the ages of nine to eleven, which enhance speech and listening. This is the time when the corpus callosum, the bridge between the left and right sides of the brain, completes its development. Studies have shown that musicians have a thicker corpus callosum which is more fully industrialized than other people. This validates the idea that music enlarges existing neural pathways and stimulates learning and creativity. As well, the plenum temporal, placed in the temporal lobe of the cortex, is also more industrialized in musicians. This is the area of the brain that is related with language processing and sound categorization, which suggests a perceptual link between music and language. (1994, Music of the hemispheres) Although, listening to and creating music is primarily a right brain function and learning is primarily a process of the left brain, music links the two halves together. When the two hemispheres are related together, this connects the memory retrieval mechanisms which enhance learning capability.

Therefore, music does influence brain amelioration and allows for learning to strengthen to a higher level.

My Own Mozart experiment

Through researching the direct effects of music on the brain, I decided to do my own research with the help of my son, Richard*. The theory of the Mozart follow particularly intrigued me.

Richard listened to Mozart for fifteen to twenty minutes each night before bedtime. This fit in nicely with our general routine, as he commonly had one hour of reading and listening to music before bed. So, Richard started reading for one half hour and listening to Mozart for one half hour. As well, on occasion, we would play Mozart in the morning during our morning disposition before school. I wanted to see if I could see a difference in my son's behaviour, interest and focus. This research does not have quantitative value and is solely based on my own opinion. Since I based this research on "Mother's intuition", my goal was to remain objective.

After a period of three months, I felt that Richard appeared to be more tolerant and more curious in talking in the morning. Previously, our morning disposition consisted of my continual persistence in keeping peace between brothers. It had always seemed as though Richard consistently woke up on "the wrong side of the bed". However, he changed to seem more pleasant and more conversational during the morning. He no longer reacted with an angered response instinctively to teasing.

I also noticed that Richard seemed to more attentive and in control. I believe that the Mozart music has a calming follow which allowed Richard to "slow his thoughts down" and think before he does or says. I also believe that this effected his willingness to listen - which I believe is the key to learning.

My findings are purely subjective. I cannot be sure what cognitive effects that this has had, but I will continue to play Mozart during the mornings. Although, I cannot be sure as to what follow it has on him; it easily can't hurt.


Educating children is needful for their growth and development, and music aids in this process.

Music is part of our lives long before we ever take a breath. It is a part of the excellent universal harmony. It is there - created for us and created by us - to feel, to hear, to enjoy, to treasure straight through all the moments, hours, days and years of our lives. Our only hope is in keeping the beauty and splendour of music alive is in the legacy we leave our children. (Scarantino, 1997, pg.143)

Music is a necessity, as is music education. It appears that brains are designed to process, appreciate and at last originate music. Music reaches the depths of our brain and body straight through unconscious systems. Music education, then, is the nurturer of consciousness. It encompasses emotions, politics, cultures, and all dimensions of human life and creates a dynamic world - a world that is full of possibilities.

Music education has a multi-modal nature which reaches all learners. A school that promotes music education may be the happiest and healthiest school of all. Therefore, we must advocate for music education continuance in our schools. For we truly identify that music is not only part of who each of us are, but music allows us to become who we are. Music education assists all who have the satisfaction to contact it. We can say with a sound trust that music education is a sound advent to advancing our children's' learning potential. For music education not only aids in expanding our children's' intelligence, but it also allows us all to become well educated. It has been proven that music education promotes higher learning capabilities. Hence, music education is needful and the key to higher learning potential.

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