Music has an almost magical capacity to touch our souls and elicit strong feelings. For adults, an old tune or two can trigger a walk down memory lane. It can be used for clients needing to grieve the loss of a loved one. For teens in therapy, asking them about their favorite songs and artists can help them feel connected to the therapist, and also elicit a whole host of discussions about their inner lives, hopes and dreams.
Music lights up over a dozen areas of our brain, including language, hearing and motor control centers. Cutting across a number of the “seven intelligences,” it helps to ground concepts in a unique and special way. It can increase the production of endorphins, help us feel energized, lift our moods, and connect us with others. It has been shown to boost creativity, self-expression, and even immune function.
Research has also shown that music can strengthen learning processes, particularly with vocabulary and spatial-temporal reasoning. It has long-lasting effects for retaining information. Many of us still remember the words and meanings of songs we haven’t heard for years, and it’s how we recall our ABCs.
When penicillin was discovered, it was widely publicized and used to treat infection. A different kind of “infection” exists today. Parents and teachers nationwide are overwhelmed with the challenge of young children being rude, irresponsible, teased, bullied, shy or unable to tolerate frustration! The medicine or solutions for these problems has also been “discovered” but not yet applied…it is the teaching of social and emotional skills.
In the home, parents know the importance of teaching these skills, but complain that they don’t have the tools. In the classroom, the latest research provides solid evidence for the importance of teaching children these skills, yet most schools only support an emphasis on academics.
We are putting the cart before the horse when we only focus on academics and ignore what else is happening in kids’ lives. A child who has just been teased out in the playground has very little attention left for the math problem being presented on the blackboard. When children are preoccupied, they have far less “memory” or attention available for learning. They are at high risk for later problems in school and in the workplace in their adult lives.
There is a fun and almost magical way to help them… with the songs and activities of Kids EPs! These songs, as with all music, light up the brain in at least a dozen different centers, engaging children in a way that helps them to learn the most important lessons in life, – how to get along better in the world and bring out the best in others. And as far as the academics are concerned? Happy kids learn better!