We all know that all kids love listening and moving to music. The evidence of this becomes apparent as soon as babies begin to gain muscle power and control of there limbs. They smile and shake from head to toe as soon as any song is played around them. According to many accredited music therapists, certain tones, rhythms, and vibrations can help treat a litany of medical and behavioral problems such as premature babies and children with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).
Babies born prematurely often have extra levels of stress put on their little bodies as they have not developed enough in the womb to sustain on their own and without the extra support of the mother’s body. The little energy that even full term babies are able to produce is usually drained by this same stress, often leading to ongoing health problems. A study was recently conducted at the Utah Bally Regional Medical Center that shows positive results for preemies who are exposed to more music from birth. Just two twenty-minute sessions of vocal lullaby each day slowed down preemies’ heart rates and boosted the amounts of oxygen they took in as well as increasing their appetites. Songs with soothing melodies and steady rhythm can also calm a colicky or teething baby, according to music professor Rosie Pratt at Brigham Young University who supervised the research at UBRMC. Instrumental music can definitely be soothing, but the sound of a voice teamed with rhythm gives babies their first feeling of human connection and security. “A parent’s voice is best,” says Pratt, “even if you can’t carry a tune or if you make up the lyrics.”
Classical music has been associated with brain development and increased academic performance for decades. Just looking back through history this becomes obvious when we think of how many composers have been labeled “genius” despite other disabilities they have suffered. It is recently being proven by another study at Brigham Young University that when a group of kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ages 7 to 17, listened to at least three forty-minute recordings of classical music weekly, the connections in their brain moved to higher levels. This increase in brain waves allowed them to focus more on tasks while they listened. More than 70-percent of the kids in the study went on to show even more improvement from regular exposure to classical music six months later. Rhythmic music, such as Mozart or Haydn (some of the aforementioned geniuses), can help kids without ADHD, but maybe just a little too much energy settle down, too. Playing a few pieces periodically throughout the day or whenever your child is restless or fussy will give vast improvements in attitude and agreeability. For kids who have trouble following directions try applying sing-songy tunes with instructional lyrics for certain tasks, says Don Campbell, author of “The Mozart Effect”, a book about the benefits of music, “Rhythm is perceived differently by the brain”, he says, “so kids are more attentive when you say things musically.” This basically means that associate music with fun making them more apt to want to complete daily tasks.
Do get your child started with music lessons, call our studio at 402-515-9639.