Music is not only the food of love, but food of the brain

 

         Did you know that the frontal cortex is the last part to develop in childhood? According to Carol A. Tamminga, MD of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the frontal cortex is the last to develop in childhood. The frontal cortex along with other cortical areas of the brain is responsible for diverse cognitive functions. It is important for executing mental tasks as well as responding to internal and external stimuli. It is significant in planning appropriate behaviors that relate to cognitive development, memory, learning, mood and motor planning. Working memory effects learning and how humans respond to and experience their environment.  All human functions are supported and enhanced by memory, whether language or social communication, eating, hygiene, or walking. How excited does a parent get when a baby says his first words? Parents are even more elated when a child takes his first steps.

How does music help the frontal cortex development?

All biological functions require sound, timing and rhythm, the three major components of music.  Learning these functions requires attention, and researchers have found that listening to music primes the frontal cortex for attention.  One of the major deficits in behavioral health, whether mental or developmental, is attention deficit. With a healthy frontal cortex, as part of the cerebral system, one has the attention and concentration to perform mental tasks. Neuro Science researchers have shown that injury or deficits in the frontal cortex are associated with lack of behavioral planning and deficiency in executive functions. Research also shows that most mental disorders and Autism Spectrum disorder are related to injury or deficits to this part of the brain. According to the American Music Therapy Association, Children on the Autism Spectrum respond to music at a higher level than any other form of creative expressive art form, thus making music a fit tool for frontal cortex development.

Motor behavior, language development and social participation in music

In my practice, I apply music therapy to help restore some of those injured abilities and improve the development of those skills.  Memory is a major element in all human functions. Music applied therapeutically enhances memory for behavioral or executive issues. From my case work in the early childhood development and education, language delays and delayed motor responses are prevalent. Both, language development and appropriate motor behaviors are improved through music. When children are exposed to music early in life, their language development is more timely. Children with early music participation and experience also show higher levels of learning abilities and achieve higher scores in subjects like mathematics and reading, than those without early music experience. For my elderly clients, I have found familiar songs and music reminiscence to stimulate long and short-term memory and improve mood, behaviors and socialization.

Music is not only a leisure pursuit, it is therapeutic in nature. At BiodyneStore. com, we provide a variety of musical instruments, including Americas favorite and most social, the guitar. We also carry the harmonica, another family fun and social instrument. Both, harmonica and guitar are affordably priced and relatively easy to learn, so that you and your children or grandchildren can enjoy, enhance and maintain your cognitive and executive functions and improve your social interaction with friends through music. We also have dancing shoes, if you want to take it to another level.

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