It's never too early to introduce music
to children. Even in the womb, music has served to sooth and calm babies
and mothers alike. The fact is, that music not only calms the savage beast,
but also can actually make kids smarter!
Studies show that both sides of the brain are involved in playing, reading
and organizing music. Children are born with an overabundance of electrical
impulses in the brain called, Synapses. These synapses serve to bridge
neurons that receive and give out information. Unfortunately, it's a 'use
it or lose it' proposition.
This applies to additional languages as well. Actually, if you think
about it, music is an entire language all it's own. So, keeping those
connections active, will actually improve your child's ability to learn.
Students who participate in music programs in schools score 51 points
higher on the verbal portion of the SAT test and 39 points higher on the
math portion than students who do not. The gap in scores between music
and non-music students widens with the length of time spent studying music.
The question then becomes, "Does it matter what type of music
my child is exposed to?" The answer is an emphatic YES!
One enterprising student - David Merrell, while a senior at Nansemond
River High School in Suffolk, VA - sought to test that assumption by
experimenting with lab mice and different kinds of music for his science
fair project. At the start of his project, Merrell ran 72 mice through
a maze. He found that, on average, they needed 10 minutes to find their
way through the maze. Then he divided them into three groups, exposing
one to the heavy metal band Anthrax and the second to classical music
by Mozart. The third group of mice, the control group, heard no music.
At the end of four weeks, he timed the mice as they maneuvered through
the maze. The control group averaged 5 minutes, the Mozart group just
1 1/2 minutes, and the hard-rock mice stumbled through the maze in an
average of 30 minutes!
Most scientists believe there is something special about the structure
of classical music that makes the brain respond positively. Some feel,
however, that any complex music can be effective such as classical,
jazz, or even rock. Complexity is the keyword. And, not surprisingly,
all of those who have studied the issue agree that learning music and
understanding its dynamics make a much greater impression on the brain
than by simply listening to it.
general, children of all ages benefit from music programs in the schools.
Here are some reasons why:
Music is a science. It is exact, specific, and it demands exact
acoustics. A conductor's full score is a chart, a graph which indicates
frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once
and with the most exact control of time.
Music is Mathematical. It is rhymically based on the subdivision
of time into fractions, which must be done instantaneously, not worked
out on paper.
Music is a foreign language. Most of the terms are in Italian, German
or French, and the notation is certainly not English but a highly developed
kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics
of music is the most complete and universal language.
is history. Music usually reflects the environment and times of its
creation often even the national and/or racial feeling.
Music is physical education. It require fantastic coordination
of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles, in addition to
extraordinary control of the diaphragm, back, stomach and chest muscles,
which respond to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.
It's all these things, but most of all, music is art. It allows
a human being to take all these dry, technically boring but difficult
techniques and use them to create emotion. That is one thing science cannot
duplicate - feeling emotion.