How Can Music Benefit The Development of The Adolescent Brain?
May 6, 2014 2 Comments
It’s like an old mantra; “Music aids in brain development in children…” We are constantly bombard with this statement as if we were a being vocally blasted by a victorian school teacher. At this point we turn the other way and say, “I know I know.” But do we know?
The problem is that we have a very good idea as to how music positively influences the brain development of a child, but we very seldom do anything about it. In order for the true benefits of music to become integrated into the life of a child, the learning must go beyond the classroom and into daily life. The key to this is in the engagement the child finds appealing in the home setting. Let’s get off the tablets, phones and computers and exchange that for family interaction — music and dance. What could it hurt? We might not catch the latest episode of our favorite sitcom or the update on our feed to the benefit of the future — our children.
In a recent article by Rebecca Parlakian entitled, “Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle” , thoughtfully planned music experiences can support and nurture each of the domains of development — social-emotional, physical (motor), thinking (cognitive), and language and literacy. These areas are intertwined and the learning which takes place across domains can happen while singing or playing just one song.
Music experiences enhance social-emotional skills through helping a child to understand emotions, cooperate and team building, build self-esteem, and build self-confidence. Children learn how to be co-existent with others in the interactive setting that music provides. This allows children to be naturally creative in any setting in-where they find themselves interacting with peers.
‘What’s unique about playing an instrument is that it requires a wide array of brain regions and cognitive functions to work together simultaneously, in both right and left hemispheres of the brain,’, Allison Balbag, a professional harpist who has a Ph.D. on the impact of music on health told National Geographic.
Therefore, what we see is that by implementing musical training early on we can create a world of emotionally stable, team oriented, confident whole-brain thinkers. This paints a solid picture of our future CEO’s, artisans and producers. The implementation of early-childhood music education sets the stage for a future that is full of new developments in any field the child sets his or her mind to pursuing.
The current responsibility relies now on us… We must take the initiative in implementing sound instruction for our young people to engage in; spend more time ensuring the concepts are understood by children on their level. Music, to music, can seem foreign and hard to understand. In reality, music is something that is apart of who we are as humans. Music isn’t something we need to learn as much as its something we need to experience to learn. As adults we must lead children into the best possible future as we can manage. We seem to find time for all the luxuries that modern technology provides. As I am a supporter of tech innovation, I still believe that everything has it’s time and place for use. Just as music shouldn’t be screamed at children 24 hours a day, neither should media in the faces of growing brains. The question to which how our future will turn out remains in the amount of discipline we encompass, showcasing creative alternatives for our future — our children.