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Bring On The Music To Help Your Child Learn Faster And More Effectively

Do you remember how you first learned the alphabet? I am quite sure that the majority of us learnt it by singing the ABC Song: 'ABCDEFG-HIJKLMNOP-QRS-TUV-WXY-and-Z...'

There is no doubt that music and songs are one of the best means to teach children new information and knowledge. And over the last 25 years, many researches and studies have been done to find out how music influences our brain and how we can use music to help us learn faster and more effectively. And it has been found that our brain is most open and receptive to incoming information when it is in a special state of relaxation.

That type of relaxation is not to get you into sleep. It's a state of relaxed alertness - what we sometimes call relaxed awareness. For those who learn relaxation techniques such as Yoga, you know it is the state when our brain is at Alpha.

The study of super-memory and the brain started back in the 1950's by a Bulgarian psychiatrist and educator, George Lozanov. After years of research, he concluded that we all have an 'optimum learning state'. This occurs, he said "when heart-beat, breath-rate and brain-waves are smoothly synchronized and the body is relaxed but the mind concentrated and ready to receive new information."

Lozanov put his research into practice and achieved some amazing results, particularly in foreign-language learning. It was reported that Lozanov had helped Bulgarian students learn 1,200 words in a day, using his method.

Today we know that it is fairly easy for people to achieve that ideal learning state. Deep breathing is one of the first keys. Music is the second.

Music played at different beats and tempos influences our moods differently, and in turn it affects how our mind functions (which determines our actions).

Have you ever noticed how departmental stores use music to sway the mood of their customers within their premise and to regulate the flow of human traffic? During off-peak period, they will play soothing music to help shoppers relax so that they will stay longer in the stores and as a result buy more things. During peak hours when the stores are crowded and they need to get the human traffic to move faster so that more people can come in to the stores, they will play fast and loud music.

Likewise, we can use music to our advantage by helping our children in their learning and enhancing their concentration.

If you would like to put your child in the best state of mind when doing something or learning new skills and knowledge, you can try playing soothing music with a 50 to 70 beats per minute pattern.

The most common music to achieve that state comes from the baroque school of composers, in the 17th and early 18th centuries: the Italian Arcangelo Corelli, the Venician Antonio Vivaldi, the French Francois Coupertin and the Germans, Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederic Handel.

Some of our favourite music pieces that my wife and I play at home for our children, Ethel and Ethan, when they are at play and learn:

- Vivaldi's Four Seasons - one of the best-known pieces of baroque music that helps you to shut out other thoughts and visualise the seasons of the year

- Handel's Water Music - a deeply soothing piece

- Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D - our favourite to relieve tension

If you have yet to introduce music when educating your child, start using it today; it will put your child in a relaxed, receptive state, helping her focus and learn more effectively.

Article by Alvin Poh, founder of Learning Champ, a parenting wesbite that provides information and resources to parents, who want to help their children develop the important skills and mind set for a brighter future ->

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