We have long known about classical music’s ability to bring joy and arouse deep emotion. Undoubtedly, music has a powerful influence on the brain. Studies have shown that classical music can also help children with special needs through a variety of significant improvements, including reduced stress, increased IQ, and improved ability to focus. In addition, music can make children feel more positive and improve their creative thinking. The bottom line is that classical music can make a huge difference in the lives of people with disorders such as autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADD and ADHD, and intellectual disabilities.
The Mozart Effect and the Power of Music
The term “The Mozart Effect” has become mainstream as there are now a variety of products, including everything from CDs to toys, that use Mozart’s music to enhance a person’s ability to perform mental tasks. A variety of experts theorize that listening to Mozart can actually increase intelligence as well. Don Campbell, who wrote The Mozart Effect: Harnessing the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Empower the Mind, and Unleash the Creative Spirit, has stated that the Mozart Effect is “a broad term that encompasses the transformative Music’s powers in the fields of health, education and upbringing signify well-being.”
A 1993 issue of the Nature Journal published remarkable results from studies at the University of California at Irvine. In one study, a group of students listened to Mozart while a second group listened to a tape of relaxation suggestions. A third test group had only 10 minutes of silence. When these students were given a spatial IQ test, those who listened to Mozart showed significantly higher spatial IQ.
Some scientists speculate that complicated sounds like classical music enhance the functioning of fire patterns in the cerebral cortex. Studies have also shown that people with Alzheimer’s disease do better on spatial IQ tests after listening to Mozart. One of the reasons classical music is so powerful, unlike other forms of music, is that it contains sequences that are repeated throughout a piece of music. Often these sequences appear about every 20 or 30 seconds. Due to the fact that brainwave patterns also happen in 30-second cycles, this type of music can provide the strongest type of response.
The Mozart Effect has very real implications for people with learning disabilities. Listening to classical music not only increases IQ, but also helps children to concentrate better and remember new information. When a child listens to classical music, they can create ideal conditions for learning and creativity.
Another boost to the impact of classical music’s positive effects on learning and the brain came in 1998 when Georgia Governor Zell Miller allocated over $100,000 annually to the state budget for classical music cassettes and CDs for all Georgia-born children . Various studies convinced him to take this courageous step, that listening to classical music promotes intelligence.
Classical music can positively impact everything from emotional development to motor skills to cognitive functioning. There’s a whole field of psychology called music therapy in which therapists improve their clients’ health through the use of music. Professionals such as teachers, doctors and psychologists regularly refer children to music therapy. Music therapists can even help people who have suffered a stroke heal through the power of music.
Children with learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, and autism can benefit from music therapy as it helps them feel calmer and less impulsive. Additionally, many children feel more comfortable opening up about their feelings when exposed to music. At this point, therapists can help children overcome their frustrations and build their self-esteem.
distraction and music
One thing many children with learning disabilities have in common is that they are easily distracted. Various noises can distract their attention from a task at hand. However, when classical music is used therapeutically, it changes the way the ear works and stimulates the brain.
Children with a variety of learning disabilities, including autism, experience positive results from Tomatis Listening Therapy. During therapy sessions, classical music is sent into the right ear and the sound is also vibrated through the bones in the body. One of the goals of this therapy is to synchronize the ears and bring the system back into balance. The philosophy behind this treatment is that it allows recipients to start with the best possible performance.
Many children have also improved their ADHD conditions by learning to play a musical instrument. The act of practicing and listening to classical music at the same time can teach children to increase their attention spans.
The calming effect of music
Listening to classical music for children with special needs provides a positive and relaxing experience. Remarkably, classical music can also reduce stress and relieve frustration. In addition, it can reduce muscle tension and slow heart rate. When these changes occur, the mind is more open to learning and also to communicating with others.
A study at Baltimore St. Agnes Health Care by Raymond Bahr, MD showed that doctors who played classical music to their heart patients had the same effect as a 10 mg dose of Valium! The implications of this study for people with special needs are clear. When children with autism, cerebral palsy, ADD, ADHD, and intellectual disabilities are able to relax and calm down, dramatic changes in their behavior become possible.
Thanks to Jim R Ray | #classical #music #benefits #children #learning #disabilities